Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Full On Yay

The "yay!" has been active for almost a week now. Wow, that is so hard to believe. Luke has been home for ALMOST a week! So crazy.

He got home late Christmas Eve ... well, late for Amy. It was about 7 p.m. We WOULD'VE been there to have the picture perfect meet him as he gets off the plane moment with Dave in the cute tshirt I bought for him that says "I'm here to pick up my daddy!" and me looking really, REALLY hot ...

But the moron at the Air Force Base told me the wrong time for arrival, even though I double triple checked, and he had to borrow someone's cell phone to give us a "where the heck are you?" phone call.

Answer: we're at home.

So ... no cute tshirt for Dave and while, yes, I looked REALLY hot, I had my coat on so who cares?

HOWEVER -- We got him back!!!!! And for THAT we are super grateful.

The last few days have been awesome. He got the federal holiday/DONSA weekend off and didn't have to go to work until yesterday ... and he's really only been working half days. This afternoon he'll meet us down at Great Wolf Lodge for a non-mandatory Army fun day. Dave will enjoy the glorified bathtub ... because that's really what it will be for him ... and I'll enjoy a water slide or four when Luke gets there and can watch Dave for a few minutes.

All in all, good times.

Last night Luke and I dropped Dave off at hourly care and hit Pacific Grill for a very expensive meal that was delicious.

And I just scared the tar out of Dave by sneezing. That's my cue, folks.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Question Mark Intentional

Our status at this time is: "yay?"

Luke is, as I type, winging his way from Qatar to Germany. If all goes as planned he will bored a flight bound for our local Air Force Base sometime early in the morning Thursday, Germany time.

And this is where time zones on our side... or my side. There's a first time for everything, right? If Luke boards the first flight to here from Germany Thursday (there are four that day), he will, through magic super time zone powers, travel for 16 hours and yet get back sometime around or just after noon, in my estimation.


What's crazier, still, is that IF the question mark falls off my "yay," I'll have a Luke back in 48 hours. After 208 days.

Soooo ... now we have the question -- what shall I DO until then!?

Cleaning. And laundry. And then some more cleaning. And some more laundry. A cookie party. Entertaining Dave. Sleep.

That's my plan.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Missing: One Soldier

So, folks, Luke is still in Afghanistan. STILL! I know, this surprises me too. He may be out of there this evening but, well, things are rather slow with the leaving.

It's incredible.

When he got on the list for flights out he was number 107. The next day he was number 96. The next day only number 70. Soooo he got on a list for going to a DIFFERENT country, from whence he will attempt to get back to the states somehow. Space-available travel being what it is he may not get back until, oh, next spring.

Haha. So funny if it wasn't happening to ME.

Oh and Tabitha didn't come. Couldn't get out of work. She gets many, many points for trying.

Soooo after having a really long, good cry about it, well, all morning Saturday, I went to the gym and got my nails done anyway and then went to church on Sunday and went to the gym again yesterday evening.

The REAL fun of the weekend, though, came when I decided to get a Christmas tree Saturday evening.

SO MUCH brand new information was involved with this adventure!

For example, christmas trees are REALLY HEAVY. Did you know that?! I mean, if I had thought about it, I would've known but ... My father always threw the thing about so effortlessly!

Also interesting: Christmas trees are nigh unto impossible to put in a cheap stand by yourself.

And stands? Totally sold out everywhere except Walgreens the weekend before Christmas.

So I hauled the tree up three stories, somehow got it in the stand (a TRUE Christmas miracle!!), watched it fall down only one time, put it back up, decorated and ta-da! tree still stands!

Now it smells delicious in here (is it the tree that smells good or the gingerbread I just made or a combo? Unclear). And feels all christmasy.

So, even though we are still missing one soldier, for now ... yay :-)

Real Family Photo

I was thinking how nice it would be to have a family photo ... with me and Dave and Luke ... for Christmas. Since that probably isn't going to happen -- Afghanistan being what it is -- I thought I'd just post a family photo from our wedding. So there's no baby. Whatever. This is how we REALY ARE, though.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Getting Better

As in, hold the medication.

Yesterday (my time .. let's just assume all times are Amy Time) night Luke left the FOB for the airfield. At some point in the next day -- hopefully sooner than later -- he'll be leaving the airfield for another country entirely.

And there, with incredible, supernatural speed, and despite SNOWPOCALYPSE on the east coast, he will get flights back home and be home Monday morning!!

Or not. Maybe he'll get home Tuesday. Whatever, and you can't quote me on this -- once he's out of Afghanistan, I barely even care. He's on his way home and that's all that matters.

Is it crazy to say that I had a fear that he would never, ever leave? That he wouldn't get home because they would change their minds and make him stay at the last minute. Once he's on his way it's all OK.

Plus I've decided to start going to the gym again tomorrow. It's been a few weeks. Bad, bad, bad. And the illustrious Tabitha is forsaking sleep for a pilgrimage from Canada to come hang out with me for under 24 hours, just to help me burn time. That's awesomeness in a person right there, folks. I've been so lonely and so ... lonely. And going crazy with waiting for Luke to leave. But! Ta-da! He left! Or... is leaving. And that's all I care about.


So. He might get back Monday or Tuesday. I mean I guess if he has really crazy awesome flight times he COULD get back tomorrow ... but yeah, that's really really unlikely. As in REALLY.

Meanwhile I am going to go to the gym, get my nails done tomorrow morning (while a friend logs some time with Dave), clean my house a bit (just because I mean it has to be at least presentable for Tabitha), pick up Tabitha, eat some pizza and watch a movie, go to church, get a Christmas tree with Tabitha's help, decorate said tree, take Tabitha to the bus station and ... hope that Luke is coming back the next day. If so I have a lot more cleaning and laundry and a few errands to do.

And THAT, my friends, is my plan.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Must be Medicated

After laying in my bed starring at the wall for about 45 minutes around 11 p.m. last night, I decided that in order to sleep I would have to be medicated.

Ok "have to be" may be a bit of an overstatement. But it definitely was going to help.

So medicated I became. And then I fell asleep. And then I had some really weird dreams.

(The woman being interviewed on the Today Show right now should not be wearing that particular sweater).

(Yes, I now watch the Today Show because the Magic Cable is gone and I have no Gilmore Girls).

And this medicatedness was a great idea ... until Dave didnt get the memo and started screaming at like 6 a.m. Note to self: tell Dave next time. Other than that, it was awesome.

Yesterday it snowed. I hate snow. Here. I hate snow here. I don't really care anywhere else, but here, where they cannot clear the roads and everything is covered and ice and morons are on the roads ... here I dont like it.

So maybe I won't get to Costco later. Or maybe I'll brave it.

Let me encourage you all to go to Facebook and see the pictures I'm newly tagged in. They are pictures of my truly adorable baby. What a complete ham. I love that kid, even if he doesnt know about mommy wanting to sleep.

Yesterday, for example, he spent about an hour playing with his reflection in the mirror. Dave thinks the baby in the mirror is the cutest, most fun baby in the whole world. I agree. He also likes the mommy in the mirror, but not nearly as much as the baby.

Please don't name your children after the cities in which they were conceived. Thank you.

I broke down last night and put away the laundry. It was starting to drive me crazy. So there's that.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Still Saturday

I know, that's shocking to you.

But it IS still Saturday.

I'm not entirely sure how this is possible. It's like I'm living in some sort of space and time warp where things just ... stands still. It's truly unclear how this is possible. Someone should do a study that's all sciencey and important and tell me HOW in the WORLD time is moving SO SLOWLY.


Today, for example took forever to go away. And I even had a party this afternoon. And ran some errands. And the day is STILL NOT OVER!

Sundry things from today:

-- I broke my glasses last night, as mentioned. Unfortunately they aren't under warranty like I thought they were and ta-da, I now have to buy a new pair. Hate, hate, hate. I'm going to wait until Luke gets home -- which may or may not actually ever happen because TIME DOES NOT GO BY -- to buy a new set. And then I won't have to do it alone (I hate being alone. Have I mentioned that?)
-- Because I really don't think I've mentioned it sufficiently, I hate, HATE being alone. It's seriously a major fear ... loneliness.
-- Tomorrow I'm taking someone from our battalion to church with me. I'm rather excited about it.
-- Tomorrow it's ONLY SUNDAY. This is INCREDIBLE.
-- On Tuesday I'm getting my teeth cleaned and then hauling up to Southcenter to look at more wedding dresses with the lovely Bethany, before leaving her at the airport for her christmas vacation. That should be a decent distraction.
-- Maybe, someday, my husband will come home. Because you know it's not even about him leaving stupid Afghanistan at this point .. it's about how bloody long it will take him to get back here once he does. He's not "priority" because he's being redeployed, not on leave. And unlike some people -- ahem -- who were in charge of booking flights and stuff for everyone and therefore could whip it out for themselves, my wonderful husband is at the mercy of other, well, slower people. During the busiest travel season. In bad weather. You can tell I'm thrilled about this arrangement.
-- My house is not clean.
-- I need to go to costco at some point this week. I also need to go shopping for Luke food. But I don't want to do this until he is in the states. With an itinerary. On his way home.
-- That feels like it will never, ever happen.

Things to Avoid

I've come to learn (through much trial and error and then, just for good measure, more trial and error) that there are some things you should flat out avoid when you are feeling sad and alone. For your benefit I will now make a list:

-- Ordering take out. You end up with way more food than you can eat by yourself, but feel like you HAVE to eat it because, hello, you bought it and paid for it. Therefore: stomach ache and feeling fat.
-- Marathon watching Greys Anatomy. You don't feel like laughing so you don't want to watch Friends. But Greys Anatomy is like the most depressing show ever so, while it fits your mood, it also makes it worse. What you really need is Gilmore Girls -- a show about people who arent always happy and saying happy things, yet makes you laugh and feel fairly good nonetheless. A TV miracle. Alas, there are like 29 people in front of you waiting to borrow it from the library, and your resident copies moved to Alabama.
-- Christmas cheer. See, you might THINK this will make you happy. But you'd be wrong. In actuality it just makes you feel MORE alone and MORE sad because the people you wish you were celebrating are still far away.
-- Husband coming home preparations. Again, something else that you THINK would be a happy thing. But it isn't. And here's why: instead of having a date that he'll be coming home you, well, don't. It's like this thing that is perpetually "coming," but never seems to get here. And as for the preparations, you really could just get a pedicure a week just in case like, but you feel like a moron going by yourself. It's hard to be all supportive and awesome for yourself when you are straight up tapped out. What you really need is the requisite pizza and ice cream and movie nights and clothing shopping. But alone?

Dave makes me happy. That's one thing.

Today we are going to a Brigade christmas party. I RSVPed 3 weeks ago that the husband would be there with me. So now I get to go and answer a million people when they ask "when does he get back?" Kinda makes me not want to go.

I stepped on my glasses last night and now I have to go and get them fixed. Enter a week of Amy not being able to see properly.

Maybe I'd feel better if I put away the laundry. This is day number 11.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nap Time

I got my baby back. No, I didn't sell him after all (I decided I like him way too much). What I mean is, that after an over three week cold, I am finally spending time with the Baby Dave we all know and love. This sick kid we've been hanging out with for all of that time is SOMONE ELSE'S BABY. Not mine. Maybe yours? (you should check).

Regardless, Dave is back. Granted this Dave has some extra snot and a little bit of a cough -- but still. THIS is my kid. None of that annoying noise anymore. No crying for no reason. Just entertaining and smiley. I LOVE this baby! (That other one stay away).

That being said, Dave decided to share his lovely cold with me. I evaded it for three weeks -- so that's something. But now I have it hard core. Even though I took a VERY NEEDED two hour nap (please note: most of it was spent laying very still with my eyes closed ... not sleeping. But I think that counts) I am still exhausted. Dave also took TWO 2 hour naps today ... go him! Maybe I should've gotten in that action both times. Whatever.

Now, things in which you have no interest but I'll tell you anyway:

-- Laundry count: 9. That's right. I am just going to go on full putting-away-laundry strike and simply NOT DO IT until Luke is on his way home.
-- Speaking of Luke, he's not on his way home yet. I just wrote a very long paragraph pontificating on what this means, but I decided to keep it to myself ... or between me and the friends I will inflict with it later during conversation. You know who you are. That's right, I'm talking to you.
-- I got Chinese food for dinner. And it was delicious. Or I was just hungry. Whatever.
-- Dave is jumping in his jumparoo and it's REALLY cute. I wish you were here to see it. That's right, you.
-- We booked a night at the Great Wolf Lodge for December 30 ... a non-mandatory Army fun day, if you will. We'll see what Dave thinks of water parks!

The End.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby For Sale

Would you like to buy a baby? I am selling one.

My day started with this noise at 6:15 (until I made it stop at 7 a.m.): whaaaaaa. whaaaaaaaa. WHAAAAA. (that's crying, incase you couldn't figure it out).

In between that noise the rest of the day I heard this noise: Meeeeeh. meh. mehhhhhh. mmmmmmmmmmmehh. (that's whining. FYI).

Unbelievably annoying. The only time these noise ceased was while he slept, which, let me tell you, was not terribly often.

Seriously ... want to buy a baby?

Things I learned today:

-- In addition to being unbelievably hot here sometimes, it periodically is unbelievably cold. Today: high of 32. Right now: 19. When I got up this morning: 9.
-- Comcast figured out that we had free cable. This is most unfortunate because, when they figured it out, they took it away. Sad day for Amy. We pay $14 or so a month to get the networks without using bunny ears (which don't work in our apartment, in case you are wondering). Alas our magic TV also got, with no apparent reason, all the rest of the channels sneaky like on the free! woo! And now they are gone. Boo. Good thing I have a husband coming back soon or I would quite possibly DIE without being able to watch reruns of Bones and NCIS all of the day. As it is this cable-less-ness is probably a good thing. There will be less channel flipping with less channels. I therefore give this situation a thumbs up. Next thing to do: watch Friends over and over and over and over ...
-- In related news, if I still had magic cable I would've completely missed the fact that Charlie Brown Christmas is on tonight. Woohoo!!
-- Women don't like it when a FRGH advertises free, onsite childcare and then fails to deliver. And they REALLY don't like it when the dude in charge (who has no children ... if he did hed NEVER say this) says "Im sure we can all just bite the bullet and enjoy our children during the meeting." Yeah. After a WHOLE DAY of "meeeeeh mmmmmeh mmeeehhhhhhh?" I don't think so! And by "women," I mean "people named Amy." And by "people named Amy," I mean ... me.
-- A Charlie Brown Christmas never ceases to be awesome.
-- Ive consumed an embarassingly large number of calories worth of "fruit source mini bites" since Saturday. The down side: it's a HUGE number. The up side: they are "100 percent fruit!!" (yeah, right).

And that's all I've got for tonight, folks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Getting Cold in Here ..

... so put on all your clothes ...

Sorry, slight change to the old song to fit the season.

Freezing. Absolutely frigid. ... it's a disgusting 29 outside at present, windy and, get this, NOT raining.

But really, really windy. Windy like you can hear it blowing against the apartment. Windy like BOY are you glad you're inside.

Today Dave and I hit our last PWOC board meeting. I'm stepping down so I can do the help-the-husband thing once he gets home. I must say, I am relieved. I hadn't the foggiest idea how I was going to everything I currently do AND feed, clothe and assist a big ol' Army man. So Luke suggested I drop PWOC and I said "OK." So I did.

Have I mentioned that it's COLD IN HERE??? The problem isn't that the heat isn't on, cuz it is. The problem is that when it comes out the floor heater below the drafty window it goes straight outside again. And our apartment complex isn't doing us any favors. The unit below me is STILL empty. What's the use of living on the top floor if some poor sucker below you isn't going to help with the heating problem? Geez.


(Just turned the heat on higher).

This afternoon, after a run to the commissary and Madigan (to make sure Dave isn't dying from a cold. Good news: he isn't.) I made ... drum roll ... Christmas cookies!!!

I LOVE Christmas cookies!!!!

So we have 2 batches of sugar cookies done and two batches worth of gingerbread chilling in the fridge waiting to be made up tomorrow. Woohoo!! The only thing more fun than making christmas cookies?! EATING THEM.

Today I did not put away the laundry. 6 days is the new record.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today I ...

Because you care. (And if you don't, why are you reading this?!)

Today I ...

-- Got out of bed and realized the wind blew the boxes off the back of my car so I was going to need to chase them around the parking lot so I could take them to the dumpster. So much for not having to do the work this morning.
-- Turned on the TV and saw TNT was running a Lord of the Rings marathon. Decided to come home after church and watch Two Towers. Because it's awesome.
-- Went to church. Heard (another) amazing sermon on the life of David. Discussed important things with Bethany. Ate a potluck which included some sort of Japanese roll thing that tasted like grass.
-- Came home. Watched Two Towers, as promised
-- Dusted stuff.
-- Fed a baby. Twice.
-- Drank a latte. Ate a smoothie. (did not taste like grass)
-- Talked to Luke on skype. Discussed which part of the couch he'd like to sit on when gets home (yes, this is what we've been reduced to)
-- Listened to more serious action wind outside. Felt a serious draft through my window during the gusts.
-- Avoided putting away laundry. Days this has been successfully avoided: 5.

And -- you're in luck! -- more of the same fun is planned for tomorrow. ... except that I'll ALSO be going to a meeting and the grocery store! woohoo!


See that in the title? I just made up a new word. That's just how I roll.

And that's what I've been doing. Distracting myself with silly-busy things, like making up new words, finishing busy projects and cleaning constantly. I've sent all of my christmas cards. I've dusted everything twice. I've picked up more cherios than I can count.

And he's still not home.

I know that he is just as eager to get back as I am to get him back and my complaining about it probably isn't helping.

But these last days are feeling oh-so-long. Mostly because I expected them to be over by now. And yet here we still are doing things that would so not be happening if Luke were home. Things like watching Lord of the Rings on a Sunday morning and NOT flipping the channels. Things like eating a smoothie for dinner last night ... like that.

Today we've got another busy day of church and an errand or two thereafter. Tomorrow we've got a PWOC board meeting, followed by an FRG meeting Tuesday, PWOC Wednesday morning, a super exciting surprise trip with Charlene Wednesady afternoon (surprise for her, not for me), BBB Thursday, meetings Friday morning and evening and ... hopefully, news that the husbands has left the FOB Saturday or Sunday.

Busy is good. But I know the days will drag anyway. Longest busyness ever.

Friday, December 4, 2009

When He Doesn't FEEL Faithful

Today is a hard day. It's December 4, the day that I've been praying for several months would be the day that Luke came home.

I'm talking hard core prayer. Prayer that leaves on the floor. Prayer that is in every breath. Prayer that makes you CERTAIN God will come through with a big fat "you've got it!"

Except, He didn't.

Now I'm sitting at home. Both Abigail AND Karissa have moved away. And I am not at the airport picking up my husband. I am not wearing my husband-coming-home-outfit. I canceled my childcare reservations I had for tomorrow so we could go see a movie together. I kind of want to curl up in a ball and cry for a very, very long time.

I don't want to go to the coffee tonight. I WANT to be with Luke.

God, why? Why didn't you bring him home?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Please Pass the Comfort Food

I was going to post something like this anyway. But now that the Army has gone and said things like "he'll probably be home by Christmas but not before" it's extra special necessary for me to remember all the things I like doing while Luke is gone. Good things about deployment, if you will. Compared to the bad things it's a very, very short list. But it is a list nonetheless.

First, however, I was watching Nacho Libre with my family the other night, and Jack Black's sarcasm in this scene sums up my feelings pretty well:

"I know the wrestlers get all the fancy ladies, and the clothes, and the fancy creams and lotions. But my life is good! Really good! I get to wake up every morning, at 5AM, and make some soup! It's the best. I love it. I get to lay in a bed, all by myself, all of my life! That's fantastic"

By the way, if you've never seen that movie -- you really should. It's stupid some of the time but, like a lot of stupid things, also really ridiculously funny.

OK so my list of "grateful husband is gone" stuff:

-- I get to sleep in the entirety of a queen sized bed. Diagonally if I want. I mean, what's not to love about that?
-- I never HAVE to make dinner. Sometimes I just eat wheat thins. Again, where's the wrong??
-- I really really really like NOT flipping channels while watching TV. Ever.
-- Speaking of TV, I can watch whatever I want all of the time. Documentary about people who do crossword puzzles? Heck yes! Friends, season 8, for the 3,000th time? Certainly! More episodes of NCIS, a show I didnt even used to like at all? Absolutely.
-- Never have to wait for the bathroom.
-- Never have to wear anything even mildly attractive if I dont feel like it
-- In the last 6 months not a single person has tried to eat tuna in my apartment. It's like a deployment miracle.

So, don't go thinking that I want Luke to stay away because I REALLY REALLY REALLY DON'T. But I'm trying to come up with some positive thinking here. Yes, "no tuna" is really the best I could do.

I think I'm going to go to Five Guys now (while I'm still in place that has one nearby) and eat some comfort food. For the moment I've lost the will to be skinny. Someone feed me french fries and diet coke, please?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratefulness Everywhere

You can hit the little timeline of posts on the side of this page for Thanksgiving posts of yore. For now I bring you: annual "things I'm grateful for" post.

It's been a rough year -- that's not an exaggeration. There's been a whole hill of Army drama, personal drama and other drama making the ordeal rather, well, trying. And exhausting.

That brings us to this: I am grateful for all the wonderful friends and family who have helped us through it. Without them I wouldn't have been able to do six months without Luke and with an infant.

More things that I'm grateful for:

-- Baby Dave. As predicted last year he is cute, cuddly and super fun to tickle. But he's also some of the best company in the world, a really good listener and a true light on even the most down and hard day. I love that little boy SO much!
-- Luke. Even far away he is just the perfect support and person for me. I cannot believe how I lucked out in this deal.
-- My Army family. I can't even imagine how hard this would've been without them around. They have been and continue to be so important to me.
-- Coffee. For serious, folks.
-- God. We'll just say I saved the best for last. How could I have possibly get through any of this without Him to lean on?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Luke Returneth!

Excellent news: it looks like Luke will be able to leave for home in about a week or so. Praise Jesus!

It is blowing my little mind how SOON that is! After almost 6 months on the dot of waiting to see him again, I just can't wrap my brain around it actually happening.

Six months of sleeping alone. Six months of eating like crap because I can. Six months of watching whatever I want on TV. Six months of taking care of a baby all by myself. Six months of anniversaries and birthdays without the person that gives them meaning. Six months of hard core safety and homecoming praying. Six months of memorials, FRG meetings, being supportive, being supported, BBBs, small group, plane rides and oh so much more ... without Luke.

And all of that is about to end. I am so happy!

I know the reintegration process is not going to be easy. I mean, for starters, I really do like sleeping diagonally and it is not going to be a cake walk giving that up. And then there is the (legitimately) harder stuff. He's seen a lot of things go down that I would care to never think about, much less experience. He's been somewhere very hot, and, well, I'm pretty sure that starts to melt your brain after awhile. He has yet to really experience Baby Dave in all of his glory -- and now Dave is 7-months-old.

I'm trying to brace myself for the worst. I pray that the good communication we've worked hard to develop through journaling, phone calls when they were available and care packages pays off and we are able to pick up right where we left off ... if not further along.

I've got plenty to do before he gets here. For starters, I'm in Idaho until Dec. 1. And then there is house cleaning, grocery shopping, other previous commitments, Karissa good-byeing, meetings, pie making, shopping, pedicuring and other various and sundry husband-coming-home tasks to accomplish.

All of these are important ways to fill the time. Time until I get to be married again. Time until Dave gets to have a daddy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Idaho. No, you.

I'm pretty sure I've used that line before but I don't care. It's just that good.

I'm here at the Doolittle homestead for a week or so. I'd say my family wanted me to visit but you and I both know that this is about them hanging out with Dave.

Case in point:

My mom: "My grandson is here so I'm doing great."
Me: scowling look
My mom: "Oh, and my daughter."

So there's that.

Idaho is cold, per usual. Actually, it's not much colder than Seattle is right now... but HERE it is rather windy all of the time - a dry, unpleasant wind.

And Dave is sick. This is particularly un-awesome here in the Land Of Dryness. I had to buy a humidifier for his room so that he could breathe all night long (or, more accurately, so that he could sleep all night AND NOT WAKE ME UP). At home we don't have this problem because it is way too moist in the apartment as it is. Anyway.

The really funny thing about this situation is that the poor kid now has laryngitis. So. Pitiful. But sooooo funny at the same time. You can tell he's TRYING to make a loud noise, but it comes out in a very small squeak.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I have been negligent. Sorry about that.

Things have been very, very, very, VERY busy around here. Multiple days of the week I leave the house at about 8 or 9 a.m. and dont really get home until 6 p.m. or so. All of that time is spent running hither and thither and dragging my poor son around creation. Bible studies. Being supportive. Errands. Another Bible study. More being supportive. Memorials. Battalion events.

It's becoming a bit of a drag. I'm not going to lie.

It's also VERY cold in this apartment. Why oh why did the downstairs neighbors have to move?! I guess I should turn on our heat. Meh.

Thursday we head for Boise where we will spend a week and a half with my family. Free babysitting! woohoo!

I'm not feeling super inspired right now ... Ill write more later.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Luke Update and a Small Rant

First, because so many people have asked ...

Yes, I've been very bad about updating. I just haven't had anything to say here of late.

Because you all care, however, I will tell you -- Luke was not involved in Tuesday morning's IED incident that killed seven of our heroes. He was back at the FOB as far as I am aware, and had actually just gotten off video chat with me. He has been able to chat via video with me now 5 or 6 times over the last few weeks. At long last the FOB got the tent with computers and phones up so now its like a Luke communication FEAST! Awesomeness.

So, that being said ... he is doing OK. Obviously it's hard loosing so many people, and it's hard on us too ... so many memorials to go to. But we are doing fine, and eagerly (EAGERLY) anticipating his return in six or so weeks (woohoo!!!).

Now, my rant. I haven't ranted in a while and since it's my blog I get to say whatever I want. So now I shall rant about Halloween.

I HATE halloween. It bewilders and dismays me that we as Christians have accepted this as something it's ok to not only take part in but to celebrate. Let's go ahead and think about what Halloween celebrates, not so much in a historical sense but in a pop culture way: evil, death, things that are scary, ghosts, spirits, the devil. For some reason we've managed to dupe ourselves into thinking this holiday is neat and that there is nothing wrong with it - that somehow we can ignore the real point and just wear costumes and go ask neighbors for candy without taking part in the satan fun.


Halloween is FOUNDED on satan and evil and the spirit world. I realize some of our Christmas and Easter traditions (example: christmas tree) have pagan origins, but I've yet to meet a single person who actually celebrates those. But Halloween is FULL of people who celebrate the scariness and think it's cute to dress their kids up like the devil. It is not cute.

"But we are redeeming the holiday by ignoring the evil and making it instead about fun and costumes."

OK maybe YOU are. And maybe YOU understand the finer points of that statement. But what about your kids? Do they really understand why they aren't allowed to dress up as anything scary? Do they grasp the fine distinction between them and their friends who get to bed dead princesses? Do they really get that they are ignoring the satanic undertones of death and evil and making it all about fun costumes alone? Wouldn't it make more sense to instead teach them that we don't participate because we don't celebrate satan?

And a final point ... church harvest parties throw on October 31 to offer an alternative to halloween. ... and people still wear costumes ... and kids still get to eat their candy also make me mad.

Why, oh American church, must you feel the need to do something at all? Is there something so wrong with simply abstaining? Celebrate fall in September... or November ... but why must you do something on this day? Do you really feel that much pressure to take part that you must disguise yourself under the theme of sugary, harvest fun?

So.... no, we in Bushatz house don't celebrate halloween. We don't like satan so we are going to let him have his holiday all to himself.

End rant.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Faithful in the small stuff

God is faithful in the small stuff.

Even when it seems like it should be on the bottom of his to-do list, He is still on top of it. I mean, I see other things as being really top priority ... things other than making Luke call me when I really, really REALLY need him. Things like stopping train wrecks and waylaying terrorists. But God still hears me and answers and shows that He cares.

That's cool.

It's almost like I have magic prayers. I lay in my bed and I ask Jesus that, if it all works out, if He couldn't have Luke call me. Sometimes I pray for just an email. Sometimes I'm ok and don't need a phone call at all (we don't want to abuse the connection, you know).

And then I wait. I watch my phone. I fiddle with twitter. And hum a little tune.

And not long thereafter my phone will ring. Or the little blinky light will go off indicating "email! email!" And it will be Luke.

You may think "well duh if he is going to call thatd be the time." And sure, maybe it would. But I dont know what night he is going to call on and its not always at the same time (sometimes I go to bed earlier or later). So that's not a valid thing to explain it away.

Last night I was having a really really hard time. I felt so alone -- so very, very alone. I've got some family drama going on that I could really use Luke's support over. Marriage is really about support in times just like this. And I'm married. But WHERE is my support?? Anyway, I digress. I knew Luke was NOT going to call me. He had told me he'd be busy for a few days and not calling.

This is such serious family drama that I had considered whether an emergency red cross message would be appropriate (and if you ask me what the drama is, well, Im not going to tell you so dont bother). I was told that the best way was to spread the word and have him call me when he came back in. Not helpful. I had emailed our chaplain's wife earlier in the day to ask for her advice on the subject, and that is what she told me.

I sat at my kitchen table last night, emotionally exhausted and facing a 430 a.m. morning (in prep for the flight to PHX which is currently delayed ... this blog post brought to you from the sea-tac USO). I thought "Luke cannot call me. He is not going to call me. But if God wants him to call me, that wont matter."

Fifteen minutes later my phone rang. It was the chaplain's wife telling me that she had just gotten off the phone with her husband, who had actually just seen Luke and said he would pass on the message to have Luke call as soon as he could.

Twenty minutes after that Luke called.

Magic Jesus action, if you ask me.

This isn't the most well written post I've ever done ... operating on 5 hours of sleep here, folks and boy am I zonked. My point, should you choose to take it, is this: it doesn't matter if there are bigger and better things going on. God is faithful to me -- us -- in the things that really matter and when we really need Him, he's going to be there IF we believe that He can be. Check it out, it's in the Bible.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

YMCA Much?

I've been spending a lot of time at the gym. A. Lot.

Today was my day off. In honor of getting a day off I did an extra long workout yesterday, with lots o' weights and ab works. Boy do I feel it today. I swear I did not do more than one machine for the legs and the hurt a TON. Am I really in that bad of shape?

Tomorrow I'll be back at it: the pool will be on the menu for the first time in, well, months.

I am determined -- DETERMINED -- to fit my clothes. And not fit as in "they button." Fit as in ... I look hot in them.

So there.

In other news, we head to Arizona Thursday for Jen's wedding. Looking forward to seeing people, but NOT looking forward to the process of getting there. Dave has become three thousand times more complicated to travel with in the last month. I now have to check his car seat, for example. He no longer likes to sit still on my lap for long periods of time. He throws fits. He eats solid food that is difficult to feed him while he sits on my lap. Oh the joys. (Havent actually figured out how Im going to feed him on my lap without him grabbing at the food jar and without getting food all over myself AND him).

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Email Envy

Luke managed to get on email for a few hours last night. I am sorry to report I did not benefit from that whatsoever. The person who got the majority of his email time devoted to her dissevered every single sec spent on it and a hundred million more -- but it would be very nice if I had gotten a line. Or something. ANYTHING.

In other news, our productivity was not nearly as awesome this week as it was last week. I did start hitting the Y again after a way too long hiatus. Felt good. I've started working on all of the things I said I would work on before Luke comes home ... this includes reorganizing a boat load of cabinets in this house. So far I've done the kitchen. Next the linen closet, bathroom and storage closet (which just needs some baskets to contain the organization that's already going on).

Baby Dave and I have been working on his all night sleeping skills. He started solid foods last Saturday -- which was super fun -- and hes moved to a 4 hour instead of 3 hour schedule. He is also sleeping through the night -- in that he now only cries once or twice and I ignore him instead of feeding him and then he goes back to sleep. It's working out well for two reasons -- hes getting the picture and ultimately I get sleep more. And we all know that last one is VERY GOOD.

Days until Luke comes home: who knows? But less than 60 (me = optimistic).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Productivity Central

Thanks to our little trip ending Monday this has been the Longest. Week. Ever.

It has ALSO been the most productive in a very, very long time!

Just because it makes me feel good about myself I will now give a short run down of only SOME of my accomplishments:

-- Shopped for and purchased next size up car seat for Dave
-- Replaced tires on the Tempo
-- Branded, produced and printed advertising for upcoming PWOC retreat
-- Attended Tuesday morning Bible study
-- Attended Wednesday morning PWOC
-- Organized and printed publicity stuff for PWOC board meeting
-- Organized church care package drive and printed supplies
-- Made PWOC and care package drive advertising boards
-- Switched out all of Dave's clothes with the next size up
-- Fetched Abigail from the airport
-- Took Dave to the park to ride on the swing for this first time
-- Went on multiple walks
-- Bought tickets to Idaho for Thanksgiving
-- Hung frames I've been meaning to hang

... and more! And there's one more whole day left in the week! And all of this with a sick kid. That's right, Dave was sick for the First Time Ever this week. Stupid plane gave him a cold. He's much better now, but I'll spare you the details on the snot.

And now I'm exhausted. I swear I had more to say but I'm so zonked I can't remember what it is. So, until later -- goodnight and good luck... or ... something.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Home again, home again

Now that I've used my Super Mommy Mind Powers to convince our 26" long friend to take a nap, I have found a moment of peace to write here.

We returned home this morning on a direct flight from Dulles. We took a 0825 direct flight and landed in Seattle at 1100, gaining three hours in the process and making this, after a 0515 wake up time, officially the LONGEST DAY EVER.

HOW is it only 2:30 p.m.?!?!*

We have a busy week ahead of us. Tomorrow FBC starts its Tuesday morning Bible study back up which I can now attend thanks to our lovely chaplain's wife, Charlene, moving the battalion study to Thursday morning. Wednesday is PWOC fun, Thursday is a memorial service (instead of Bible study this week) and Friday ... well, maybe I'll take Friday to recover from the craziness of the last three or four weeks. We'll see.

(As it turns out the newcomers orientation thing that I thought I had to do tomorrow is next week instead. Phew. I was so not into that).

Meanwhile today I must still go to the grocery store and probably Target or Office Max to run some PWOC related errands while fixing the fact that I have zero food in my house. OK, zero may be a bit of an overstatement -- I have SOME food. But nothing that I want to eat.

*note how I switch freely between military time and normal person time. Crazy, I know.

I sat next to a man on the plane today who was coming home for a two week break from Afghanistan Fun. He is over there for a year as a contractor after the Army medically discharged him last year for being completely deaf in one ear thanks to some sort of Not Cool explosion.

It was neat to talk to him about Afghanistan, and I enjoyed all the warm fuzzy feelings I got thinking about how Luke will come home in a few months and sit next to someone on the plane who will hopefully be as happy for him as I was for this guy.

Incidentally, the deaf ear was the side on which we were sitting. This was good for him because David SCREAMED HIS HEAD OFF for the last 20 minutes of the flight. I think the poor little guy's ears were hurting.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

For Public Consumption

The time has come to advertise.

For many of you this is the first time ever viewing this blog. That is because this is the first time I've ever bothered to really tell anyone about it. Back in the day I kept a blog over on xanga where I had many friendly (and not so friendly) stalkers reading about my days and adventures. It was a hoot.

But then I got tired of all the hoo-rah-rah and decided to close the drama shop over there while I sneaky-like opened a new place in Blogger land.

It's been more than a year since I fooled (some of) you into thinking I'm not blogging anymore. I think it's about time to announce it to the world once more.

Here I am! Tada!

Let's see ... since I ran away from you a variety of interesting things have happened. A quick run-down:

- I got married. That was super fun.
- I had a baby. Not as fun as getting married, but now that the having part is over, it's awesome.
- Luke deployed. That one really sucks, but I'm learning a lot.

And that's really all the news that's fit to print.

If you choose to follow this blog or, at the very least, stalk me occasionally, keep in mind two things:

1. We are not really that interesting, so please reconsider. If you decide to keep reading keep in mind that I am not your average, run of the mill Army wife -- I've got a radical, life changing God in my corner. Craziness is bound to ensue.
2. This blog tends to be a dump for a gamut of things that are, at turns, interesting, sundry, boring and emotional. It's best not to assume you know me as a person based only on what you see here. I am attempting these days to be better about not only tossing on my most trying moments but, please, keep in mind that my using this as a brain and heart dump is not only bound to happen eventually, but is my prerogative. Judge not.


Friday, September 18, 2009


Yesterday I decided to forgo my plans to see the Newseum (and on the free, too! Sad) in the name of letting Dave take a series of very much needed naps. He ended up sleeping more during the day yesterday than he has for many weeks. I guess he needed it.

He is getting to be suuuuch a big boy -- five months next week! Isn't that crazy? And he's becoming quite the little person. I can now put him in his bed and will him into taking a nap -- it's like we've developed an understanding. He knows that I am NOT going to come get him, so he might as well just sleep.


I would post a little photo action of our D.C. time, but alas I did not bring our camera cord with us. So you'll just have to wait until we get home. Instead, I give you this:

That was taken just before we left for D.C. ... that gives a general idea of how my little monkey man is looking these days. Isn't he cute?!

This afternoon we will spend some more time hanging out at Ebs (one can never ever spend TOO much time hanging out at Ebs), followed by a little visit to the Jefferson (location of Where Luke First Said "I Love You." Sentimental, much?). We started the day visiting Aimee (at Ebs, duh) and then did lunch out at TWT (where my former editor was wearing a Christmas tie. Yes, in September. I know!).

We head home Monday morning. Honestly? I'm ready. Only because I miss my stuff and my friends and all the home-ness of it. I love Love LOVE being here ... but yes, we are ready to go home. I also have a ton-o stuff to do next week. A sampling:

-- Newcomers orientation pitch Tuesday morning
-- PWOC Wednesday morning including a presentation that I must prepare for Tuesday
-- Memorial service Thursday for two guys in a sister battalion
-- Organize a box drive at church for our battalion
-- Plan and get invitations for a dinner party I plan to throw the end of October
-- Mail Luke a box that I have sitting in my house awaiting my arrival back home

You get the idea.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


D.C. is my place of dreams.

Whenever I am here I am inspired to try bigger, go farther and have faith a little more. Maybe it's my history here -- this is the place that I really found myself as a Christian and a believer. Sure, I was a Christian before I got here, but it was while in this place that I figured out what that really, truly means and the sacrifice and, well, dangerous, uncertain living that requires.

If there was ever something dangerous and uncertain, it's the Army life. At least our friends in the civilian world can convince themselves that they have some measure of control over their day-to-day and five-year-plan. But those of us relying on the Army for our bread and butter know better than to even subscribe to such a notion. We know that all the planning in the world will not make the Army have us do what we want (hint: not move to Alaska. Ever.).

And so I find myself here, back in the dreaming stage -- the stage of "what if?" and "do I have the faith?" and "do I love God enough to be willing to live on the the edge of reason? Am I willing to do whatever?" (Because it's not really about DOING the whatever -- sometimes that's the easy part! It's about being WILLING.)

My [someday in person] friend Tabitha put up a great post today on this subject ... I encourage you to read it here. Obedience is how we really love God. ...

This morning I had a fantastic meeting with Heather Zemple, one of the pastors at my D.C. church NCC. While I caught her up on our Crazy Army Life, what we are doing in ministry and our "plans" for the future, I got the dreaming spark again. I am freshly excited about the adventure of serving God and what that means now and down the road. I'm excited about the learning process. I'm excited about the journey.

And I'm excited about Luke coming home and sharing these things with me.

We are in D.C. just a few more days. This trip has seemed long and short at the same moment. Today we're taking a bit of a break and mostly chilling back at Hyla's so Dave (aka Mr. Cranky Pants) can get a few good naps in. (Oh, um, and I may have joined him in one of those, haha). This evening I'm going to try and catch up with a friend at Ebs (funny story about that later) and go to dinner at Bistro with Hyla (or special dinner place... so excited!)

Monday, September 14, 2009


This post brought to you from my favorite seat in Ebenezers at 2nd and F Street NE. I used to hang out in this seat every morning blogging and jounrnaling and contemplating both work and, more importantly, where I was headed in this great big world.

And here I am, baby in tow.

We heard a really phenomenal sermon by Pastor Mark on Saturday night -- lots of things to think about in terms of life sacrifice and what we are willing to give up to gain the Kingdom of God. ..

"Someone once said that the problem with being a living sacrifice is that you can get up and walk off the alter."

I am always afraid when coming back here that I will somehow regret my decision to leave in the first place. I am afraid that I will be sorry that I accepted living sacrifice status and, like Pastor Mark said, get up and walk off the alter. "Excuse me, my bad. I think I'll go home now."

That morning so long ago that I dropped my keys on the floor of the 10th street house and left on my big new adventure I was actually giving up my plans as I had thus far known them. Thus far I have not regretted that decision ... but coming back to this place always presents the possibility of that happening.

I am happy to report that, so far at least, those feelings have not come about.

In other news, D.C. is wonderful -- and wonderfully weird, as usual. Spotted last night: a half naked man with what looked like a miner's light strapped to his forehead taking out the trash.

I should also note, while I'm talking about weird things, that both best friends on both sides of the country have randomly experienced smelly refrigerators in the recent past. As I am the only thing that links these two people I want to go ahead and state that I am responsible for neither Hyla's nor Abigail's really smelly incidents. Just for the record.

Tonight: Generous George's with Tricia! Woo hoo!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home ... or ...?

Being back in D.C. is kind of surreal. Nothing here ever changes -- the streets get more potholes and the faces are different (to some extent) but as far as the feel and look of the city, it's all the same and has been for a very long time.

And so coming home to here feels good because it still feels like home. I love this city and its feel -- the busy busy of everyone, the constant politics on the radio and the fact that from the moment I set foot in its borders I suddenly cared again about what was going on in the House/Senate. Things I didn't give a moment's thought to in Seattle (because it was easy to ignore) are suddenly at the front of my attention - Senators, Congressmen and the political drama I so used to love.

I spent today visiting hospitals. I started at Walter Reed only to discover that one of the guys had been transfered to another hospital because his wife had gone into labor. So I dropped off cards for solider number one then went to Bethesda with cards and baby gifts for soldier number two and his wife.

It was neat (and the Naval Hospital is swanky! Compared to MAMC that place is really styling. Remind to have a baby there instead next time).

After our Naval Hospital Adventure (where we ran into Dana's husband ... oh and we saw Dana yesterday! That was super fun. Baby Bella is a cutie. We ate Five Guys (duh?) and went and saw a Truly Terrible Movie called All About Steve. Dont. See. It. I think I actually LOST intelligence while watching it) I drove down to Ebs so I could bump into the church staff. That was fun ... and the home I came.

And now I am tired.

Veeka is being a super great kid. We dropped her off for her school/daycare this morning and then picked her up at about 5 p.m., made dinner, watched her kiddo shows together and then, at about 7:20 p.m., she said "I'm going to sleep now," and had me take her to bed.


Now if only Baby Dave would sleep ...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

From D.C.

Greetings from the Couch of Hyla.

That's right, I am back in the District -- and proud of it. We got in Saturday night, stayed with the Brooks, hung out with Nolan and Adiya and co. and then came over here (to Hyla's) yesterday afternoon.

All in all, a good 2.5 days.

This evening the real adventure starts -- Julia will pick us up at 4 p.m.ish, at which time we will head over to her place, get Veeka, eat dinner, go to bed (and stuff) ... and tomorrow take Julia to the airport and start our 4.5 days of Veeka care.

It'll be fun. I'm positive.

During this we also get to see Dana and Bella, visit Walter Reed to at least drop off some cards and do a spattering of other fun things. I'm excited.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Memorial Number One

Today was my first Army memorial service. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I can't actually remember the last time I was at a memorial service at all, much less an official Army one, so really I'm not experienced with this at all.

(Wait .. the last memorial I was at was Rosa Park's. Not even kidding. But I dont think that counts).

I was expecting it to be emotional. I was expecting it to be hard. I expected to cry.

It pretty much lived up to all my expectations, so there's that.

So, since you're wondering, here's how it went:

We all sat down. They played music for awhile. The rear chaplain prayed. The rear-d read statements about the two guys the service was for. Two enlisted guys made separate statements about the guys. ...

And then the rear-d read a statement spoken by the Col. at the guy's memorial service Over There, including about how the guys spent hours "finding" the people who died (... they died via IED so you and I can both guess what this "finding" and "searching" involved). He reminded us why we are fighting and how not everyone is going to come home [this is when the crying started].

Next, the chaplain prayed again. And they did "last roll call" where a Sgt. took roll call, including the names of the guys who died, and of course they didn't answer so there was an obvious gap. [more crying here]. Next the bagpipers played Amazing Grace [LOTS of crying here all around], followed by the gun salute [crying crying crying] and taps [still, more crying].

And then -- and this was the part I didn't expect -- people went two by two (or so) up to the front where photos of the guys were placed in front of two pairs of boots, two guns and two helmets and stood for a few seconds. Starting with family and command and then all the way throughout the chapel row by row.

I didn't know either of these guys. But that was hard.

I determined today that, while I am in D.C., I will visit our boys at Walter Reed. We have three of them there right now, including the best friend of one of my friend's husbands. I am actually excited to be able to do this, even though I know it will be hard. I know that Luke would want me to (even though I came up with the idea on my own). I'm going to make them cookies or something and then head over there. Obviously they are pretty beat up or they wouldn't be there. But ... this will be good.

I am a do-er. I have to DO something or I feel vulnerable and helpless. If I can do something, no matter what it is, it's almost a little bit like I can control some of the situation (even though I can't).

It occurred to me today that, when I pray for Luke, I am almost approaching the situation as if all God can do is protect Luke from some big, evil out of control enemy. "God, PLEASE protect my husband from the danger." ... and in doing so I forget (through lack of acknowledgement if nothing else) that, in reality, God IS the danger, in some way. Not only does He control whether or not my husband and others get hurt, he controls the hurting. ... Does that distinction make sense?

By not actively acknowledging that God is not only in control of who gets hurt, but is control of the whole big thing I let fear in. ... fear that something, completely out of all control, will hurt me and those that I love.

The reality is that God is completely and totally in control of this whole thing. Yes, I should pray that He will put a hedge of protection around my husband and all of those involved -- but I also must remember that God is doing all of this for a reason, even though I don't have any idea what that reason is.

I just think that's a really important thing to remember. God is in control of this war. Nothing happens that He does not allow. And He will hear my prayers to save my husband from all of this.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

One Week More...

... and Ill be in D.C.!

I'm feeling *much* better about this trip than I was a few days ago. I've decided that I really do need to rent a car while in the city. It's just going to make things easier. It still sounds a little silly to me to rent a car to drive 10 blocks, but with the baby walking everywhere is rather unpractical. So driving it is.

Dana has wonderfully offered to let me use her pack and play the whole time, so now I dont have to coordinate finding a multitude to borrow at various moments. That's a relief as well. Now, all I have to do is make plans with all the people I want to see and make sure I get to eat all the food I want to eat (Matchbox, George's, Five Guys, Ebs, etc.) and we'll be set!

Meanwhile back on the homefront, I'm facing a busy week of prepping for travel and, well, general normal busyness. I've got a party that I'm helping throw on Thursday, a meeting all morning tomorrow, small group, Bible study, etc. Oh, and packing. Gotta make time for that, too.


I heard from Luke last night. He is having a hard time so we need to keep praying for him. He didnt really elaborate, but I'm sure it's KIA related. I just wish I could be there to help him. He didn't indicate, however, that the plans for his homecoming Decemberish are on hold, so we can still look forward to that. Praise God.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cry No More

I've spent the last few days feeling like I want to cry, actually crying, or managing to stop crying for a few minutes. It has been this way since my "Four More" post from the other day.

It got worse from there, too. Not only were four more of our soldiers dead, they were soldiers with wives and kids -- soldiers I knew; soldiers my husband worked with side by side every single day. And it wasn't just kids ... it is kids they never even met. Little tiny babies without a daddy anymore.

And so for the last few days I've been caught in a spiral where I pretty much ran around in a bit of a blur doing my errands and cried. A lot. I cried in the car. I cried in my bed. I cried in my friends' houses.

I don't think I've cried that much in that short of a period of time in a long, long time.

It wasn't that I was even crying for me. My heart felt like it was going to just fall out my chest ... it hurt so much for my friends and their daddyless babies. It hurt for my husband who lost his boss and friend and is in a far away place where I cannot comfort or help him.

It hurt.

And then this afternoon I dropped Dave off at a friend's house (I cried on the way there) and drove to the spa (I cried on the way there, too) to use the hefty gift certificate Luke gave me for our anniversary. I was massaged and wrapped and rubbed and lotioned ... and I took a great, warm relaxed nap.

When I woke up I no longer felt like crying.

Next week is in the memorial service for the first group of guys and I am planning on attending.

Now I am praying that no more of those emails hit my inbox -- that not one more of our guys will die over that and that Luke will come home. Soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Four More

Talk about a way to make an afternoon absolutely blow. As if going to the dentist isn't enough, try sitting in a dentist's chair during a filling and glancing at your blackberry between fillings, only to find a new notification from the Army telling you four more of your soldiers are dead.

On the other hand, after I read that ... I can't even remember the rest of the filling process.

I feel completely numb from this news. No calls or knocks on my door mean Luke is fine, so we are in the clear (for now). But I feel numb for the other families. I know at least one of these soldiers had a wife and kids. I feel numb because, again, this make it all so much more real.

Three weeks outside the wire. Six dead and eight (or is it nine?) injured, a few seriously.

That just seems like a lot in so short a time frame.

Luke's coffin transporting visit to KAF was the only reason he got to call me last week. Bummer way to get to call your wife. For his sake I hope he doesn't get tasked with that again.

Please (please!) pray for our soldiers and our husbands. They need some serious guardian angel action right now.

Sweet Slumber

Oh sweet slumber, how I love thee.

Last night was the first time several weeks that I slept more than three hours at a time. This sleep deprivation brought to you by Baby Dave, my adorable little boy who likes to wake every two or so hours looking for his paci.


As I was saying, I love to sleep. I discovered this particular obsession while pregnant (who doesn't love sleeping while pregnant?!) when I got a solid 10 or 11 hours every single night. Those days, however, are long gone. And now I'm lucky to get 8 in something looking like a row (though never continuous). And so, while last night was not continuous, it was a total of about 11, all told ... and now I am a happy camper once more.

This happy camping, however, may be short lived. I'm headed to the dentist here in a bit for even MORE fillings. I don't need to tell you my feelings on dentists or their tools. Use your imagination.

Tonight: dinner with the small group, where lots of people will argue over holding Baby Dave. Awesome.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Husband Talk

Good news: I got to talk to Luke!

After missing ANOTHER call (this morning ... the fun just never ends) I finally got to talk to him. Unfortunately it was while I was at church and shouldve been paying attention to other things but ... who am I kidding? Luke is the most important. Obviously.

It was so amazing to hear his voice and get his news. Two weeks and three days is too long not to talk to one's husband. And I know it will get longer in the future.

He was happy to report that while, yes, people have died, he has been no where near it. (Praise God!). He has been super, super busy doing Army type duties, including some stuff dealing with the recent KIA (major bummer), but is, other than exhausted, in good health. He misses us. He can't wait to see us ...

And as for WHEN exactly that will be, he has no news -- just some skepticism as to whether or not it will happen at all. The question isnt whether or not he'll be the next rear-d. The question is whether or not there will be a next one at all. Apparently this one could stay the whole time.

Only excepting I KNOW that's not what is going to happen. I've been praying without ceasing and BELIEVING GOD that Luke will be home in December to be the next rear-d. And so God will come through on this. I just know it.

And that's all there is to it.

I am EXHAUSTED ... but sleep is not really in my near future as the people Im with tonight have some visitors in for dessert and .. visiting. Whew. Remind me to tell you a story about exhaustion and Dave later.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blog Therapy

I am basically stealing a computer to bring this blog post to you.

Shelly and I are at present staying in the house owned by the family we've known for-ev-er and Shelly lived with for a year. I am swiping this computer from one of the kid's rooms ... go me.

I need a little blog therapy. After a fantastic few days in the woods with my family (pictures to come when Im back at home not stealing a computer) I emerged yesterday to check email and voice messages and head down (here) to Santa Cruz for a little grandma and church family time.

On the way down the mountain I got to sift through four days worth of email -- and injury and KIA (killed in action) notifications to the tune of five injured and two dead in that very small time frame. Talk about a buzz killer. Even though I had run away into the woods, the outside world kept on turning and my husband (who I hadnt heard from in over two weeks) kept on being in very real danger.

I cried. Not too long because my sister was in the car and I didn't want to be too annoying ... but it definitely happened.

Putting that behind me (and determining to go to the memorial service this coming week no matter how hard it is) Shelly and I hit the hometown ... a place where Verizon is not at its best. Indeed, my grandmother's house is a big fat dead zone.

And wouldn't you know it -- as I hung out in the dead zone this afternoon Luke called not once but twice (like a good boy -- five minutes after his first try he called again) and left voice messages.

I kept really put into words the terrible pit in my stomach I get when I miss one of his (precious) calls. It's one of the worst feelings in the whole world. And it's not like he was calling from his newly established phone connection at their FOB ... he was back on a (I presume supply) trip to the place he was for several months that is (compartively) repleat with phones. He said he'd try to call again tomorrow. I don't know how long he'll be there.

*sick feeling continues*

Tomorrow we are going to church where Luke and I got married. Like I mentioned before, I dread the questions about how he's doing and where he is and pretty much anything to do with Luke. I just don't want to talk about it.

Other than that MAJOR BUMMER our time here has thus far been fantabulous. We've been to the boardwalk, grandma's house, my beach where Luke proposed (and where, to my Great Dismay, they swept in and REMOVED MY BURRITO TABLE!! The nerve) and so on.

I can't wait, however, to go home.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Best Friend Missing

I'm feeling a little out of sorts today -- just kind off kilter for some reason (is "kilter" a word?). Actually, this feeling has been around for several days, starting Friday or so. Maybe it's because I haven't talked to Luke in going on 10 days. Or maybe it's because I haven't really seen any of the people I normally see in many days (with the exception of Tuesday -- which was also off kilter because of the whole kayak-no-show situation) ... even our Wednesday night home group was canceled.

Either way, I feel ... blah. Lukeless and blah. That wedding yesterday was great, and hanging out with Callie was great - and I so didn't cry during the wedding at all (go me!!). But now I feel like crying to make up for it.

I'm stressed. Again. I'm stressed because we are flying to California early tomorrow morning and I just want to get it over with. I'm stressed over the fact that my hair is falling out because I'm nursing and because (get this) I'm stressed.

I think the start of all this stress is stress about Luke. They've been outside the wire for 9 days and they have already had three combat related injuries in the battalion. No one was seriously hurt -- a lot of broken bones. (And two journalists were involved in the IED accident and one of them lost his foot ... sad). And if Luke had been hurt I would've gotten a call ... but that's not to say he wasn't nearby or IN the Stryker that was exploded and just missed getting hurt. And while I know God is taking care of him I just want him to check in and tell me he's OK and at least several miles from all explosions.

The stress is showing itself as me being stressed about other things. I couldn't sleep past 4 a.m. yesterday. I feel off kilter. Earlier I left a long note on a car in our parking lot after the owner jammed his car door into a crevice on my car. I actually watched him unjam it with a lot of banging, etc. from my window in my apartment. I couldnt figure out exactly what he was doing and by the time I ran down there he had gotten it unjammed and was quickly walking away from his car, got in a different car and drove away. After he was gone I had time to see the not significant yet obvious scratch he left and my car's paint on his (red) door. It was some stupidity to think that I didn't know what he was doing and to just walk away like that when I was right there ... and that's basically what my note said. Then I moved my car.

I would never have left a note if I wasnt this stressed out.

Hopefully this week will help unstress me. (I'm at this still stressed about remembering everything). I mean, what's better than sitting in a hammock reading a magazine with a partial view of my Most Favorite Lake Ever?! (.. reading a book that Abigail recommended that I requested from the library WOULD be better, but the library didnt deliver in time ... or reading the book I was going to ask her to bring with her tomorrow morning but alas she has kindey stones. Again. That's some sort of impressive! I'll live without the book ... but get better soon Ab!!!) And someone else will hold Dave. And I will sit in the sun. And I'll eat fun food. And hang out with my family.

... But then I'll go to church at my home church where Luke and I got married. And that will probably make me cry because by that time if he hasnt called (and he probably won't have) I'll miss him that much more. And then a million people will ask me a million questions about him which I'll have to somehow answer without crying .... and that will stress me out because I'll have to wait to cry until I'm by myself. ...

... I need to go to bed. (after I finish packing some more).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Attendant Duty

Tomorrow I'm headed to, oh, about an hour north of here (past Seattle) for a little wedding duty. Apparently what I do has a title "wedding attendant." This is brand new information for me. I've always called it "person who keeps everyone from freaking out."

Im actually pretty good at it.

Basically I make sure that the bride is not privy to any problems that are happening (example: her bouquet needs to be rescued), make sure the bridesmaids are taking care of her and not other things that I can make sure are done, make sure everyone has everything they need. I put out fires (proverbial ones, not real ones). It's enjoyable. I loooove it.

And so I'm doing this tomorrow for our good friend Sarah, one of Luke's sisters' BFFs. In fact, one of Luke's sisters is going to be here .. and Im way excited about showing Dave off to her (again).

Next week: going to California! Sooooo excited about that. You should expect a little blog hiatus during that period.

OK. Time for me to (1) go get coffee (2) go hang out with lovely Lewis ladies for an hour (3) wash the car (4) stop at Albertsons.

And now you know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birthday Curse

It's like some sort of creepy ghost story -- the curse of my birthday.

It goes like this: everything attached to my birthday goes wrong. All birthday activities. All celebratory plans. Everything. Every year.

My 8th birthday, for example? No one came to my party. Not a single person. Then there was the year my dad gave me a wetsuit ... and then said "just kidding, this is mine" and took it back.

They told me "have long expectations and you won't be disappointed!"

So this year I decided -- hey! my husband is gone so this is going to kind of suck anyway, Ill make plans that revolve around appointments at places. Can't go wrong.

But then there was a fire at the spa. .... yeah, crazy. And then we got confused about our alternate movie time plan, so we relocated and no birthday yogurt was the result. Today we were going to go kayaking on the Sound, only to get there and discover that the kayak rental folks don't show when it's raining (p.s. the web site said nothing about them not showing in bad weather). So we went to lunch ... and it made me sick. But not before I had a cupcake at Hello, Cupcake ... so that just made me sicker.

Pretty much the only good part about the birthday was going out to lunch with Abigail on my birthday-day (except for the part where I burst into tears because I was so upset about Luke being gone).

I was really OK with the kayak thing today, but I mention it above to prove a point -- my birthday is cursed! Everything associated with it goes wrong. Steer clear.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Edit to Julie and Julia

First, go down and read my last post. Because it's a prerequisite for this particular reading. That's right, I used the word "prerequisite." AND I knew how to spell it on my own. Oh snap!

Now, that you've done your homework, I have one more thing to add to my little review.

Watching Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci (yes, the hairy actor guy from Devil Wear Prada) get it on ... or almost get it on ... or alluding to them getting it on ... makes me extremely uncomfortable. Pretty much anything where .. old ... people do that is just not cool. (I also dont like watching young people in that situation -- liberal use of the remote occurs. But even allusions to old people weirds me out).

Now I am aware that some of my readers are not going to appreciate me calling those two actors "old" or using the phrases "old people" and "getting it on" in the same blog post, much less sentence. But I don't care. This is how I feel about the subject.

Who this moment did not make uncomfortable: all the extremely old people in the same theater with us.

Someone should put a warning about that BEFORE the film .. the same warning that it's an old person movie. Maybe it could look like this:

WARNING: Primarily old persons will attend this film. Contains some old jokes and scenes of old people doing it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Julie and Julia

First of all, before I say anything negative, you should know that I loved this movie. Loved it! Totally lived up to being "feel good" and Streep was fantabulous, as expected. That being said...

Someone should've warned me that it was an old people movie! We walked in the theater and the entire place was full of old people -- and not like a little old, but the senior discount crowd.

The biggest reason this matters is that old people get to the movie early. And by early I mean at least 15 or 20 minutes. So when we rolled in at our normal five minutes early we were, well, late.

And had to sit towards the front. Crazy! Who knew people got to a movie so early?!

The other great thing about the old people (note: sarcasm) was that they, on this celebratory birthday movie outing, reminded me that I, too, am now ancient of days.* Because a normal young 20-something wouldn't go see a movie frequented by old people. Whoo boy. I am old.

*Abigail has ownership of this phrase.

Also, the move theater folks should take a peeksy into the theater before choosing the previews. Because today's were totally inappropriate to the audience. Horror movie? Disaster [space like] film?! What were these people thinking ...? Know thy audience.

But like I said the movie = great. Norah Ephron sure knows how to make 'em. I'll be seeing this one for sure again when (if) it plays on post, and probably buying it. Because it made me feel that good. Plus now I feel inspired to cook delicious things!

.... Or maybe just eat delicious things. Tomorrow: a trip to the French restaurant with Abigail. Excellent.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stupid Spa Day

Friday was supposed to be our (much anticipated) wonderful spa day! But alas, the stupid spa people let their dryer catch fire and now they canceled our appointment.

Dumb smoke damage.

(I'm really tired so this is going to be really negative).

I was REALLY looking forward to that. Hmph.

Holy Thoughts

I'm blogging this from PWOC... Just some Holyish thoughts that I don't want to forget.

The speaker this morning talked about her vocational training. She said she could never have imagined how God would later use it for his kingdom.

And so I'm sitting here wondering and thinking about my journo days. There are times, many times, when I so miss it. I wish I was back in the thick of it. I wonder whether it was a waste of time.

That it could be used in crazy awesome ways for God is not a new concept to me. But this morning I find myself wondering afresh how it will happen and what/when it will be.

Let's not be picky

The Army changed its mind.

Or, rather, the guy in charge of Luke changed his mind.

This is bad on one front: Luke's R&R got pulled completely. He may still get to take it, but sometime after September. I'm not holding my breath.

And this is very good on another front!: The mind changing was prompting by the "official" decision that Luke is coming home in January as Rear-D!!!(!!!!)!!!(!!)

Woohoo! Best day-before-birthday-gift ever! (The other good thing was actually ON my birthday, so we are still good).

Now to pray that THAT doesn't change as well.

My adorable baby woke up happy and is playing with himself in his bed. It's cute. I think I'll get him before he starts crying.

But one more thing: it is now freezing in this apartment. Washington, where is your happy medium?!

(Or, I like the perfect temperature. All of the time. Why is that so hard!?)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

And we have a date

September 21. The day I get back from D.C. ...

And the day(ish) that Luke will leave Afghanistan to come see me.

*cue trumpets of joy*


Meanwhile, I will be crazy busy until then. Since this is the week of my birthday I have many, many plans including lunch on Thursday (my birthday day), a spa day Friday and kayaking on the Sound (!!!!!) Tuesday. Woo! So exciting. A week from Saturday Im spending the day in Seattle with my sister in law and a friend at said friend's wedding. Then Monday morning Im flying to California to go to Sardine Lake (!!!!!!!)... and then a week or two after that Im going to D.C. for more than two weeks ...

And THEN(!) Luke is coming home. Bam! Just like that.

Ok, going to go get stuff done in prep for the craziness.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

(maybe!! excellent!!) Army Drama (skepticism. lots of that.)

What's a new month in the Army without so drama?

But this time -- this time it may actually be in my favor.

First of all, please note my tone of really-fantastic-excitement-that-Im-trying-bed-down-with-sarcasm. I hate even having to point it out, but Im really kind of tired right now and I'm afraid it may not show itself the way I think it should. Actually, I'm just going to take a deep breath before writing anymore and see if I can get it to come up again.


Yeah. There.

OK! Now, as you all know Luke is in Afghanistan. Unless you've been on a different planet where there are no blogs and that sort of thing you've probably noticed that this fact is not my most favorite thing ever. I'm going to go ahead, actually, and stick in the least favorite thing ever category. It's that stupid.

So, now that we've established that it's pretty safe to assume that my most favorite thing ever would, in fact, be him coming home. Preferably soon. Actually, preferably tonight but as that is not likely we'll just stay with "soon."

Now we all know the Army is a big fan of messing with minds and making people excited about things that may not ever actually happen. Things like having your husband be sent home after six months so that you can move to Georgia. Things like that. And then extra special love taking things away after they've dangled them in front of your face in super nonchalant ways that make them seem like NOT a big deal when they actually are.

And it is with THAT little reminder that I say this ... Luke is probably going to come home on leave in October. And he is probably going to come home after six months to be the guy in charge of stuff at home for all the people who are deployed.


The feeling I had when he told me that can only be likened to the feeling I had, oh, this week two years ago actually. (Man, this is historically a GREAT week!) It can only be described as feeling completely topsy-turvy-need-to-throw-up Im so happy. That feeling of absolute disbelief when words you've been dreaming about hearing for so long are actually uttered. I think that's how I'd feel if I won the lottery. It's the feeling of answered prayer. It's the feeling of faith answered by a "yes" that could only have been orchestrated by God. It's the feel of hope answered.

And so if this actually happens Luke will be home with me for a few weeks in October and then back from keeps (or as keeps as it gets in the Army) starting in January. And then at some point we'll move to Benning.

October is so soon! I can't even wrap my mind around how soon that is! And it is extra special soon since Ill be occupied for one full week this month by running around California ... and more than two full weeks in September with running around D.C. In fact, by the time I get from D.C. October will only be a 9 days away! That is CRAZY.

Like I said, I can barely fathom how happy this makes me.

But then there is the part of my mind that says "wait Amy, it's not for sure. Nothing is ever for sure in the Army no matter how for sure it seems. Even it was "for sure" it wouldn't be For Sure."

That little voice is tainting my joy, spoiling my faith in answered prayer. I hate that little voice. In a way, however, he is right ... nothing is ever for sure.

But (with the help of my Wise Friend Abigail) I've decided that, yes, the voice may be correct but it shouldn't stop me from being happy. Because you know what? God wouldn't have given this whole thing to me if He didnt want me to be happy about it, at least as long as it lasts. And if it gets taken away I'll have a really good (looooooong) cry, and then move on. (Or die. Either one). But I'm going to embrace the joy while I've got it.

Man alive October is soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chill Pill

For the last several days I have been chilling out -- literally! -- at our friend's house in Dupont. Boy, am I glad we moved there for the last week because as hot as it was on Monday and Tuesday it was even hotter on Wednesday.

Hotter as in the hottest day here ever -- as in EVER ever -- since people started writing down the hottest days.

That hot was about 103 degrees. Holy cow.

But I was totally OK with that being the hot. In fact, I was kind of excited to be a part of extra hot history ... from the comfort of my friend's air conditioned house. Hahaha.

I've realized many things this week. Chief among this is just how truly lonely I've been. It hit me that never in my whole life, except for the one month Luke was at NTC, have I lived alone. There was those few months at Verity that I did not have a roommate -- but all I had to do was open my door to find people.

Now that Luke has been gone 9 week tomorrow, I have been alone longer than ever before. And it's making me sad. I really do NEED people -- I thrive on having someone to share life.

So maybe I will periodically come stay at these people's home (heat wave or not) just for the company. They said they'd be happy to have me.

Sardine Lake time is coming up mighty fast. The bad news is that my shorts still dont fit the way one would hope. Redistribution. Evil.

I've been extra special productive these last few days. I've gotten loads and loads down for PWOC, organized myself for the board meeting next week, worked on course stuff, read ... and all sorts of crazy wonderfulness. Happy Amy. Also, Im not dead tired all of the time anymore. This could be because there is a Starbucks around the corner ... or maybe it's that Ive taken a chill pill that isn't so literal and, with a little company, found some me time where someone else holds the baby. Maybe I've been far more stressed than I realize.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hot Stuff

It is rather toasty in my apartment, and all indicators point towards it only getting warmer only the next few days. Warmer, as in, in the 90s all next week. Eww.

The good news is that Dave and I have friends with air conditioning, and taking up a semi permanent residence at their home (let's be honest, they really would be thrilled if we did so) is starting to sound very, very tempting.

Now, all I have to do is convince them that Ace, the dog I'm sitting until August 2, is welcomed too ....

I'm actually pretty excited about our plans for tomorrow. After church Dave and I are going to go to lunch with Karissa and Bethany, possibly followed by yogurt, most definitely followed by our weekly costco trip. I need diet coke. I'm almost done with my current stash ... which means that it took me just over two weeks to down 32 of the suckers. I'm not going to do the math on that.

Bethany is staying the night tonight and Sunday so that she doesnt have to trek back and forth to Seattle but can spend her time off with us cool people down here. It'll be nice to have some company.

I've been feeling pretty darn overwhelmed recently. It's not that the things I have to do take up that much time ... it's that I have so many things to think about that it's flat out overwhelming my brain and emotions. Here's a list of all the things that I'm doing this week and last week to show what I mean:

- Caring for Baby Dave
- Volunteering at church Sunday mornings
- 2.5 hour Bible study Tuesday mornings
- 3.5 hour Bible study/volunteering Wednesday mornings
- 2 hour small group Wednesday night
- working on a course
- Taking care of my friend's dog
- Organizing stuff for PWOC
- Keeping up with laundry and cleaning my apartment
- Working on Luke's surprise
- A seemingly endless list of other things I cant seem to remember right now.

And it's just thinking about all of this that exhausts me.

In other news, Bethany and I are watching Friends. This is officially her first time *ever*. I'm such a good person.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Conversational Wizard

Luke called this morning during PWOC. It was the first time I've gotten to talk to him since Sunday a.m. ... because, if you'll recall, I flat out missed his calls yesterday. Because that's how much I suck.

Anyway, we had a nice conversation. I wish I could say talking on the phone to my husband was easy and no problemo but alas, it is not. I wish I knew what the problem is ... maybe it's that I am so self conscious of being positive and having conversations that he finds uplifted that I just don't want to say anything at the risk of dragging him down.


In other news this new movie "GI Joe, Rise of the Cobra" looks ... um ... stupid. And kinda ... space like. In fact, that's right, I'm gonna go ahead and put it in the space-like category. Generally speaking I gave a solid categorical exception to super hero movies. But this whole super soldiers business is a little too space like for my taste.

Remember, space is out.