Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2 Days... (hopefully...)

Well, last I heard from Dave he was flying into Kuwait the afternoon of Dec 29th (his time) and was hoping to quickly get on a flight out. We're still hoping for a Dec 31st arrival (my time).

I can't believe he could be here in 2 days. I can't wait....I REALLY can't wait.

Also arriving at the end of the week...WINTER in Colorado. Yay! I'm very excited for some cold weather and SNOW!! I love snow!



Last night our Iowa Hawkeyes played a wonderful game and beat Missouri in the Insight Bowl. I was really hoping for a win for them after the terribly November and December they've had with unexpected losses and heartbreaking player indiscretions...

ALSO...now Dave will have a GOOD game to watch when he finally does get home. :)





Saturday, December 25, 2010

Only 5.5 days.....

So tonight Dave and I were having a skype conversation while it was still lights out so he was using a flashlight to light himself. This just cracked me up.
Can't wait for him to get home at the end of the week.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!


Merry Christmas!!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

13 days....

...while visions of Daddy coming home from Afghanistan danced in his head....


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wow, 3 months since my last post!

I can't believe its been that long!

Good news is Dave will be home in 20 days for his 2 week mid-tour leave. He should arrive on Dec 30th or 31st and we both are so excited.

Christmas and Thanksgiving will be celebrated on January 1st and I'm sure the first week will be spent just hanging out, watching bowl games and eating lots of good food. The second week he's home we're planning a 3 day trip to Estes Park, CO which is about 3 hours north of us. I can't wait for alittle get-a-way. We decided to not venture to Iowa for a family visit since the leave is so short and I want Dave to relax the whole time he's home. Traveling is definitely NOT relaxing at all for us. Its going to be so nice to get back to "normal" if only for a short time.

Dave is doing good over there, for the most part. Its definitely not fun for any of them and I know they are all looking forward to their leave time.

The unit have adopted some stray dogs that have become their companions and mascots.
The top pic is a young male, Tack, and the second is of the older female, Dog.
Original names, huh? Anyway, it makes me happy to know they have one small comfort of home. The dogs eat chow hall food and are so spoiled that neither like the dog treats I've sent in the care packages for them.




Well, I will try to update more often...my life just hasn't been that exciting lately.
Happy Holidays everyone!!!
My goal for 2011 is to keep this blog updated more frequently.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rough week

Its been a long, rough week with soldiers lost, no communication, stress and worry and finally relief.
My heart breaks for the families of our fallen soldiers....I have no words to tell them how sorry I am or to thank them for their sacrifice for our country.
I do know this is going to be a long, stressful year.
Dave had hoped to come home in February for his 2 week R&R and now it looks like that will be pushed back to April. Theres always a chance it could change again and not be that far off but I am going to mentally prepare for April and if he gets to come home sooner...GREAT. But I won't set myself up for the disappointment of expecting earlier.

Hawkeye football season starts tomorrow and that will be bittersweet. Hubby and I are huge fans and it just won't be the same without him here watching with me.
Go Hawks!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

4 weeks down, 48 to go!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Deployment Prayer

Deployment Prayer

Dear Lord:
Give me the strength to say goodbye.
Hold back the tear in my eye.
Cure my insomnia so that I may sleep alone.
Give me a reason to awake when I've none.

Dear Lord:
Please help me pace myself.
Allow me to turn to you for help,
And please let me be strong for him,
Even if I've reached the brim.

Dear Lord:
Please make time go fast.
I don't know how long I can last.
This is the hardest time of my life, But this is my job: the soldier's wife.

Dear Lord:
Let them all stay strong.
Give them the will to go on, And Lord, Please bring back all our men.
In the name of our country. Amen.

~By Leanne Thomas~

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week 2

Well, sorry I haven't updated in awhile but the past couple weeks have been very busy. First off the emotional good-bye took a toll but then I only had a week to prepare for my besty friend and her daughter's visit. They arrived last Thursday night and we had a wonderful 4 days.

There was my friend Kim, her 10 yr old daughter Emily, her 15 yr old daughter, Kaitie (my god daughter) and Kaitie's best friend Jenna.

Last Friday I made my first drive up Pike's Peak. I must admit the anticipation of the drive was more nerve-racking than the drive itself. The girls loved the mountain! Friday also happened to be Jenna's 15th birthday so after the mountain adventure we went out to dinner at Carinos and came home to a mini birthday party for Jenna, cake included.

Saturday we hit the Colorado Springs Flea Market with my neighbor and her daughter and spent Saturday evening sitting around with my neighbors and partaking in a few drinks.

Sunday I took my guests to Manitou Springs, CO for more shopping and to visit the Indian Cliff Dwellings. The girls loved the cliff dwellings...however I was less than impressed, enjoyed the shopping much more.

Monday was another day of shopping and then Monday night they had to prepare to leave on Tuesday morning.

We had a wonderful girl's weekend...the only downside is that my friend brought a cold with her and decided to leave it with me. So Tuesday when they left my cold kicked in bigtime and I've been suffering with it the entire week. Today seems to be better.



While I was busy with the girls Dave was busy getting things in order at his new base. They got internet hooked up yesterday so we were able to chat on Facebook this morning. There is no wifi so I doubt we'll be able to Skype which is very disappointing. It was good to be able to chat with him in real time though.

He says the people in Afghanistan are dirt poor and is looking forward to doing things to help them. He also said some of the Afghani kids see them as good guys and some do not and throw rocks at their convoys. He seems more committed to the mission than ever and is excited to make positive changes for the people of Kandahar.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Deployment Day

Well deployment day has come and gone and the adjustment period has begun. Sunday was undoubtedly the hardest day of my life, saying good-bye and seeing Dave for the last time for atleast 6 months. We arrived at the unit at 2pm and stood around for 3+ hrs while the guys were issued their weapons and a year's supply of anti-malaria medication. It was a long hot afternoon. At 5:30 the buses pulled up to the unit to take the guys to a larger gym on post for the formal good-byes. That building was hot and as the people filed in it got hotter and hotter. We stepped out to the lobby and had our last few moments together there. I was overcome with emotion and we decided it was time to say our last good-bye and for me to head home. It was about 7pm and it has already been a LONG, hot, exhausting, emotional day. That last good-bye was heartbreaking.


This pic was taken at the unit...
Dad and Chopper saying good-bye.....

He looks entirely too happy...
Yesterday I heard from hubby by text and a quick call letting me know that they had made it to Germany and were awaiting their flight to Kurkistan where they will stay for about a week before heading into Afghanistan.
This morning I got an email telling me that they had arrived in Kurkistan and he was sleeping in a tent with about 200 other soldiers and that is was HOT.
All I can say to that is...."GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!"
On the homefront things have been very quiet. I'm not sleeping well, have had a constant headache and I'm sick to my stomach most of the time. Its going to be a long year...
Only 364 more days.....




Saturday, July 31, 2010

At the Cubs/Rockies game

Although the outcome was not what we had hoped, we still had a great night at the ball park.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Quick update

Got news this week that the deployment was delayed by a day so we have a Sunday D-day now. That delay enabled us time to get to the Cubs/Rockies game tonight. Yay! We spurged and got great seats so......Lets Go Cubbies!!!

Also found out that the base the company is going to in Afghanistan is one of the nicer ones and they should have showers and internet access. Both things--- great news. I had Dave ask his executive officer (who is already over there) if he felt safe and he said "Yes" and that they got lucky with the location they're going to. That makes me feel ALITTLE better.

We also got a mailing address and I've already began planning the first care package which I'll probably mail out next week and he'll get it toward the end of the month. He's gonna love it. (I better not share cuz he might read the blog and I want it to be a surprise.)

Oh....and they will be 10.5 hrs ahead of our mountain time zone.



The report time Sunday is 2:30pm and the families will be able to stay with them until 8:30pm and they fly out at 2am. Its going to be a LONG day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

One more week...

Well, we've only got 9 more days until deployment day. I can't believe its that close already...the time is really flying by. I've got tons of things flying through my brain...mostly hoping we've gotten everything in order as far as Powers of Attorney, money issues and house/car issues go. We had a meeting last week given by the battalion commander briefing us on the deployment and answering questions by the audience. One little girl in the back of the auditorium asked..."Is my Daddy going to come home?" It was heartwrenching....BC answered as best he could without promising her anything. Needless to say, the Q&A session ended right there. I learned alot of good info but more importantly it made me realize that I am not alone....there are hundreds of Army spouses in my exact situation and I'll be okay. Atleast I know this is Dave's only deployment and we have that retirement at the end to look forward to.

Dave came home last week with new patches on his uniform.
The flag used to be red/white/blue...I like that one much better than the new one!




Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Wow, I can't believe its been a month since I last posted. We've been pretty busy getting ready for the deployment, getting ready for block leave and we just got home from leave in Iowa last Friday. It was great seeing everyone but also bittersweet knowing that Dave wouldn't be seeing anyone for a year. While we were home Dave's grandpa passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. I was so happy we made it there in time for Dave to see grandpa while he could still know we were there and recognize us.
While we were driving home to Colorado I couldn't help but think about how close the deployment is. Less than 3 weeks now.

This week there is an important meeting on post regarding the deployment. The battalion commander will be providing families with info about what to expect while our guys are gone. Hopefully he'll have some information about how and how often we'll be able to communicate. We'll also find out exactly where the guys will be and info about the area. I'm anxious to hear the details.

Today is Dave's 41st birthday.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEETIE!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random Critter Pics

Orlando is still enjoying his lion cut.



Chopper loving the sun.

Jace reflecting on things.





Sunday, June 13, 2010

Battalion Ball

We attended the Battalion Ball last night and had a great time.
The guest speaker was a man who worked in a building across the street from the World Trade Center and was a witness to the horrific attacks on 9/11.
He relived the horror he and his co-workers experienced that awful day from witnessing the planes flying into the buildings, their harrowing escape from their own building, and then seeing the people jump to their deaths from the upper floors of the WTC.
It was very moving and seeing him brought close to tears while telling his story brought me all the way to them.
He said he felt priviledged to be in the same room with these brave men and woman who defend our country everyday and wanted them to know how much he appreciated them and their service to our country and wanted them to know if they (or their families) ever question why they're in Afghanistan or wonder if people back home support them to call him. And he made his phone number available to all of us.

After the wonderful speech, awards ceremony, dinner and MANY drinks the dancing and craziness began. Everyone had a wonderful time and the guys were able to blow off steam before their upcoming deployment. Its definitely what they needed after the many months of training they've endured and what they have infront of them in the coming year.












Saturday, May 22, 2010

This and that.....

I haven't posted in awhile...not much has been going on. We have both been busy at work, Dave getting ready for the deployment and me preparing to start working with a new orthodontist who just bought our practice. I'm very anxious to meet him and hope he's nicer than my current boss.
The deployment date keeps changing. Its gone from July 20th, to mid-August, to August 3rd and now its July 30/31. The Army likes to keep you guessing I guess. The unit they're replacing is in charge of the flights and their guys must be in theater for 365 days, not one day more or one day less. When a flight of our guys gets there they'll fill the plane up with soldiers coming home. The whole process of trading out battalions will take atleast a month.

It looks like spring has finally sprung here in the Rockies. My white lilac bush is in full bloom and the backyard smells amazing. If we leave the family room window open the lilac smell fills the whole room. Natures own air freshner!!!

Our cat Orlando has been fighting mats for the past few months and we've been losing the battle so we decided it was time for a lion cut to get ahead of the problem. I thought we'd bring home a very upset and embarrassed kitty but much to our surprise he seems much happier now! He's been VERY lovey and social....he must feel better having gotten rid of all that long, hot and matted hair!!!
A few before/after pics....
Before


After




Apparently nakedness agrees with him.....





Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vaccines

Dave had a bunch of vaccines the past two days. The two I can remember are Anthrax and Small Pox. Man, that Small Pox one is not one to mess with. He'll be dealing with the injection site for weeks. He has to keep in totally dry at all times which he plans to do using duct tape. Thats a tough Army Ranger for ya!!
The injection site will first swell then the next 4 weeks it'll blister, pus, itch and finally heal.
Soldiers with pregnant wives or small children can't get their vaccines until they reach Afghanistan. Kinda makes me nervous wondering what the heck could happen if I was exposed to it. Scary.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life back to normal....

Well, my soldier finally got home on Sunday and after 3 days off for both of us its back to work today.
It sure is great to have him home.
The weather is getting really nice so we've spent alot of time just sitting outside on the patio and talking...while watching the Frenchie play in the yard.
Its the little things.....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Camera Critter Saturday


This is our Boxer/Plott Hound Ranger. Sadly he passed away this past November.
Ranger was the sweetest boy and without doubt the smartest dog I've ever known.

We miss him everyday....he was a BIG presence in
our home and hearts.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grrrrr....

Scratch Saturday....make it Sunday.
My patience is really being tested.

What was that I said about waiting???

I wrote in my very first blog posting about learning to be patient and all the waiting military spouses have to do. Well, I was informed yesterday that my soldier WON'T be home Friday but "hopefully" Saturday. (Deep breath). Something about a problem getting the flights arranged. Well, you would think that the powers that be would have had that all figured out, wouldn't you? Especially since they've had a month (at the very least) to prepare to bring the guys home from Louisiana. So I rearranged my work schedule, for a second time, and I will continue to wait. And hope for a Saturday return.
Another military life lesson....don't believe it until you SEE it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friday!

He is coming home Friday. Yay!

FRG Picnic

Pic taken this morning.....

Well, I survived the FRG picnic yesterday. These Army meetings/gatherings are really depressing to me. I guess when we all get together like that its obvious something is missing...our soldiers. And then the things we are talking about....Power of Attorney, block leave, deployment meetings, etc are not the most cheerful of topics.
I heard a rumor yesterday from one of the wives that the guys might not get back until next Monday. I haven't heard that, nor has the commander's wife. I talked to Dave last Thursday and he didn't say anything about being home later than planned.
For now I'm going to try to stay positive and expect him home by the end of the week.
Lets hope it is just a rumor. I don't want to go through another weekend....




Sunday, April 25, 2010

Camera Critter Saturday...Sunday Edition

Wonder how long my mini-blind cords will last??
This is just Marley being Marley. TROUBLE.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Springtime in Colorado

I thought I'd be waking up to rain this morning.....SURPRISE!!!

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Last weekend before Dave gets home! It should be busy and hopefully the time will go by quickly. We were suppose to have a FRG picnic tomorrow morning but its been postponed to Sunday afternoon now due to the weather. Thats fine with me, gives me more time to prepare.

I still don't know what day to expect hubby to return. Hopefully Thursday, maybe Friday. I can't wait to hear all the details of the training. The more I hear, the better I'll feel about the deployment. Army stuff usually bores me but after having nobody to talk to for a month I'll be happy to talk to him about anything!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Family Care Teams

I've been doing alot of thinking the past few days, about alot of things, but also about joining our Battalion's Family Care Team. What is a Family Care Team? Well, they are members of the company (spouses) who, after some training, are the ones who help out families in need during the deployment. It may just involve cooking a meal or offering babysitting services but after last night's Battalion Steering Meeting I found out it could be so much more. In the event of an injured or, God forbid, lost soldier....the Care Team is called and meets up and goes in for the family after the official Army notification as taken place. The job of the Care Team is then to stay with the family until their extended family can arrive.
Personally I don't know if I have it in me to do that. I want to have it but I don't think its there. I had to fight back the tears during the meeting when it was just being talked about. Then I started thinking about gravity of the situation we're all about to enter into.
This is scary.

We also found last night that one of the wives lost her life this week. She wasn't in our battalion but her husband is away with the brigade in Louisiana training to deploy this summer. They had just arrived here at Carson from their last duty station and he was sent immediately off to train. They knew nobody here and instead of being alone she went home to her family. She was only there a short time and was found by her family. Her death is under investigation. Its an example of how important all this FRG stuff is, as much as I hate to participate. They were so new here and he was sent off so quickly her FRG didn't even know about her and couldn't reach out to her. I wonder if it would have made a difference?

I can't wait for my soldier to get home next week. We still don't know what day, I guess we'll get one day's notice. Nice.
I'll just be glad to get him home. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Camera Critter Saturday


Orlando, our interestingly insane 6 yr old.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Quiet on the homefront

I haven't written much because not much has been happening. I'm going to work, coming home, cooking dinner, watching a little TV or reading and going to bed.
I got a call from my soldier Wednesday morning at work and he's just been busy taking classes and training. Everyone in his company is passing around some bug so he sounded stuffed up with a scratchy throat. Poor dude. I didn't get to talk to him long so I didn't get lots of details on what they're actually doing. They do have a big field exercise coming up next week that is the highlight of their month of training. Next time he calls I'll try to get more info on that.
Fortunately my neighbor has plans for me to help them demolish their kitchen this weekend. That might feel good to do some pounding and ripping....I think it could be therapeutic. And of course I think cocktails might be involved. :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chopper



No matter how hard I try he is always in the same pose.




Saturday Morning

I was so looking forward to sleeping in today but was woken up by Chopper's restlessness. I laid still hoping he'd go back to sleep and I could hear the windchimes in our backyard. Then I started thinking about how I usually have to strain to hear them over Dave's snoring. Then I started thinking about Dave, then I was wide awake and Chopper made it clear he was ready to go outside.
So here I am, 5:30am on the computer and of course Chopper has fallen back to sleep. And he is now snoring. I usually treasure this early morning "me" time but now that I have an abundance of "me" time --its not so great.
I got 2 calls yesterday from my soldier. I think 3rd world countries have better cell phone reception than Louisiana. Since cellphone coverage is spotty at best, I got a call while Dave was away from where they are staying and stopped on a bus. The first call from the moving bus was unsuccessful. They're in classes this week, thats all I could get through the fuzzy connection. He called a couple hours later while I was in the pedicure chair and I could hear lots of other talking soldiers in the background. Apparently they were in a good cellphone reception area and everyone was calling their loved ones too.
Both calls were short but it was good to hear from him and be able to give him some updates from home.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Military Wife
Lots of moving...
Moving...
Moving......
Moving far from home...
Moving two cars, three kids and one dog...all riding with HER of course.
Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house;
Moving curtains that won't fit;
Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours.
Moving away from friends;
Moving toward new friends;
Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.

Often waiting...
Waiting...
Waiting...
Waiting for housing.
Waiting for orders.
Waiting for deployments.
Waiting for phone calls.
Waiting for reunions.
Waiting for the new curtains to arrive.
Waiting for him to come home,
For dinner...AGAIN!

They call her 'Military Dependent', but she knows better:
She is fiercely In-Dependent.
She can balance a check book;
Handle the yard work;
Fix a noisy toilet;
Bury the family pet...
She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes;
Sell a house;
Buy a car;
Or set up a move........all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.
She reinvents her career with every PCS;
Locates a house in the desert,
The Arctic,
Or the deep south.
And learns to call them all 'home'.
She MAKES them all home.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty...
They leap into:
Decorating,
Leadership,
Volunteering,
Career alternatives,
Churches,
And friendships.
They don't have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other:
They connect over coffee,
Rely on the spouse network,
Accept offers of friendship and favors.
Record addresses in pencil...

Military Wives have a common bond:
The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands;
his commitment is unique.
He doesn't have a 'JOB'
He has a 'MISSION' that he can't just decide to quit...
He's on-call for his country 24/7.
But for her, he's the most unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign
TDY
PCS
OPR
SOS
ACC
BDU
ACU
BAR
CIB
TAD
ABU
And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.
She is the long- distance link to keep them informed;
the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments:
She wants to wring his neck;
Dye his uniform pink;
Refuse to move to Siberia;
But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days,
A travel brochure,
A long hot bath,
A pledge to the flag,
A wedding picture,
And she goes.
She packs.
She moves.
She follows.

Why?
What for?
How come?
You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart.
It was stolen from her by a man,
Who puts duty first,
Who longs to deploy,
Who salutes the flag,
And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband,
She will remain his military wife.
And would have it no other way.

--Author Unknown

Got a Call!


Got woken up last night by another call. (Refer back to first post about not getting a full night's sleep). :) Dave's cell phone doesn't work in Louisiana so he had to borrow his Commander's phone. We didn't get to talk long but I found out he will have internet access down there so we'll be able to communicate that way. Also found out Dave's not sleeping well because his personal items haven't arrived yet, which include a poncho liner to cover up with, so he's been covering up with PT t-shirts at night. Poor guy. Thankfully its not cold down there. But after one night of that I'd be uber-bitch-from-hell. For sure.

One of my friends captioned a pic of our little Frenchie Chopper which sums up his feelings pretty accurately.




Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dinner for One

Eating alone sucks.

Hello.

It was suggested to me to create a blog to chronicle my life as my husband's upcoming deployment draws near and to share my feelings while he's gone for a year to Afghanistan.
Perhaps he'll even get a chance to post on here too.
Being a military spouse is not an easy job. There are so many long hours, mandatory meetings/parties/fundraisers, etc....all of which I hate. But I am very proud of Dave and would do anything I could to make his job easier for him... supporting him 100% in his job and duty to our country... by putting up with the unpleasant part of military spousehood and holding the fort down at home while he's away. (oh and signing up to be the FRG treasurer....fun times...)

The rainbow at the end of this is he'll be retiring once he gets home and we are both SO looking forward to that.

That being said Dave just left April 5th for a month of training in Louisiana. Gone 2 days and the silence in the house is horrible. Our little French Bulldog, Chopper, keeps looking at the door waiting for his "dad" to walk in at any minute. I got a phone call from him yesterday saying he made it to his destination but haven't heard from him since-- which is fine. Fine until I absolutely HAVE to talk to him about something. But thats something you learn as a military spouse. It can wait....you will wait. Waiting is the name of the game. Waiting for them to return home, to call, to deploy, etc. I have become a very patient person in the past 12 yrs.
You also have to have a "go with the flow" attitude. You can't count on anything...from them being home in time for dinner, to getting a full night's sleep without the phone ringing, to being around for birthdays and holidays. My attitude is mostly..."whatever....just keep me posted" :)

This was taken last summer here in Colorado Springs. It was awesome for them to have been shown the love and support all our military deserve.
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