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.