Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Day After

It’s still mind-boggling to me that in one day, the hustle and bustle, build up and anticipation can be over. It’s the day after Christmas. All the presents are unwrapped, the food is sealed up tight in the refrigerator, the Christmas linens were lovingly used and now require a bath before they’re stored for next year. My kids have been entertained without my help all morning thanks to new toys and books. I’ve washed the china and the crystal goblets. The roasting pan and stove still cry out for my attention. It’s a beautiful clear day following the day long rain we watched yesterday. What a magical time December is.

We usually follow a tradition that’s been going on since the mid-80s in my family. Due to someone not wanting to participate at our normally scheduled time (psh) we changed things up a bit. We had Christmas Eve at my mom’s house with a few orphans. Not real orphans, but orphans in the sense that they really had no where to go and nothing fancy to eat so they were brought in to have dinner with us. We ate and played games and drank wine and ate some more. It was probably better than our tradition would have been had we stayed on track. I’m not one to invite people over at the spur of the moment. It’s just not my thing, although I wish it was, but my mouth moved quicker than my brain could stop it. It was the right thing to do, especially during the season.

The day before Christmas Eve, we bundled the kids up and everyone hopped in the car for a quick drive through Starbucks. Peppermint mochas for Bill and I and ‘kid coffee’ (hot chocolate) for Trey and Leah. While we sipped, we toured the neighborhoods looking at Christmas light and decorations. We spent an hour oohing and ahhing (and sometimes harshly judging) others’ ideas of decorating. I wish more people had their blinds open so I could see how they decorated the inside! Yes, I’m a home voyeur and I freely admit it.

I’m so happy to have my little family of four here at Christmas. Fortunately, I’ve only had to spend Christmas without my husband once while he was deployed to Japan. My cousin took him in while we celebrated up north with other family. I’m looking forward to next Christmas already. We’ll most likely have a white Christmas, we’ll definitely be in a different home, and we’ll have lots of overnight guests to keep us company. I love tradition paired with a little something new now and then.

Monday, December 15, 2008

In the midst of Christmas parties, performances and celebrations, my office has a yearly tradition: the White Elephant. Don’t know what the White Elephant game is?? Look here. Some people are nice and bring useful things, gift cards or something that maybe they don’t like but someone else most certainly would. Not us. Working for a youth pastor and the rest of the youth staff includes much sarcasm and prank pulling.

One year, the prized possession most fought for was a Snickers bar. The next year it was a giant stuffed Cookie Monster. This year, the most memorable gift was not the most sought after. One of the guys at the party was second in line to pick a gift from under the tree. He asks his buddy if the blue package he’d picked out was the right one. What? You can’t do that. No baiting the choice of the gift opener! After he’d opened his prize, it was completely obvious why he was led to open his gift.

The paper comes off and inside is a package with one pair of tightie whities. As if that weren’t funny enough, “Balls of Fury” was printed on the crotch in bright red. Mark* opened the package, held them up and revealed the size 42s and loudly read the undies, “Balls of Fury!” That sent everyone over the edge. It’s funny on its own, but we’re at a work party. Not just a regular work party, but we all work at a church. He can’t stop there and proceeds to put them on over his jeans.

As we’re sitting on couches and chairs, it’s so very obvious that Mark is sitting at a higher elevation than the rest as he’s on a bar chair and any time anyone looks in his general direction, “Balls of Fury” is yelling at you and you can’t help but stare at his crotch.

Somehow in the game, my boss is next in line to receive these opened goodies and Mark peels them off. It’s hard to not imagine him doing this as part of his normal routine. My boss hesitantly receives them and then places them on his head.

The one who brought the offending gift ended up opening an old flight suit and proclaimed that he’d received a onesie. That was quickly stolen by one of the other guys in the group. The thief of the ‘onesie’ happened to have his wife at the party as well. Guess what she wanted to steal? The balls of fury underwear. She proceeds to put them on over her jeans and parade around for all to see.

Then the inappropriateness started. Kim’s* husband, the one with the flight suit started with the comments about what they would be doing later than night…

He said he’d play Top Gun and she could be Captain Underpants. Wow. I never really wanted to know that. Now you’re in the know as well!

This was definitely one of the more memorable White Elephant exchanges I’d been to. Being married to a Marine, I’ve seen way more inappropriate gifts given and stolen, but it made my day!

Here's the actual crew I work with every day!

The Rubix Cube? Oh, I have no idea. I mean, look at his hair. It explains so much!

*Names have been changed to protect ME from random google searches by these people.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quick Recap

of everything we've done in between my freak out sessions and trying to get used to the idea of leaving home:

We made Halloween cookies, a yearly tradition.

It was exhausting:

We went to the pumpkin patch! We didn't have to settle for Albertson's this year. ;)

We went Trick or Treating with friends:

(Bumble bee, Darth Vader, Sleeping Beauty before hair and makeup and a skeleton)

Bill and I got away on an overnight vacation to our favorite spot:

And then we attended the Marine Corps Ball, celebrating the Marines' 233rd birthday:

And we finally got an updated family photo!

Other than that, it's been scrapbooking, laundry, cleaning, shopping and getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh, and googling. Lots and lots of googling with the word 'Colorado' somewhere in there.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Upside Down

I feel like I could write a novel. My life in the last month has been turned over and flipped inside out and there’s so much to write. I’ll try to make it to the point so I don’t lose whatever readers I have in the process.

My husband came home from his third tour of duty in Iraq. Yay! It was really cool to see him come home this time (well, it always is) because I got to watch him walk down the steps of the plane instead of waiting for the big white bus full of other Marines to bring him home. It was a special circumstance that isn’t interesting unless you’re military. My kids were with me this time, we were finally able to grab him after about an hour and we headed out to our first meal as a family in seven months. The waiter found out where he’d just come from and comped his meal. How cool is that? That’s never happened to us before.**

On day eight of Bill being home we got some news. I had one whole week of not being completely stressed and overwhelmed before I turned around and got hit with a healthy dose of panic. Bill called on his way home from work that day and said we needed to talk. That’s never good. When I asked why, he told me not to worry, he wasn’t in trouble. I then asked if it had anything to do with moving. His answer? Yes. I got really quiet as all the muscles in my neck tightened and my ears started ringing. I couldn’t speak. He answered my question for me and told me that one of his bosses asked, “What would you think of going to Georgia?”

So here’s the thing. Bill is three and a half years away from retirement. Our housing market has crashed. I just got a raise at work. Add those things together and it equals finally being able to buy a home. We were going to do that in the spring. I have been house hunting for over two years, watching prices and locations and so on. I’ve been reconnected to friends I haven’t seen in years, I’ve built a new friendship over the course of three years and things were starting to look like they had a direction to them. Moving wasn’t part of that equation.

So guess what I did? I FREAKED OUT. I’m a little OCD so after crying and pleading and begging God to not send us I started researching. I kinda have to know what I’m getting into so I looked at schools and houses and churches and stores and restaurants and things to do and I still wasn’t happy. I mean, I’m sure Georgia is nice and all but I never wanted to live there.

The stupid Marine Corps totally ruined my reunion with my husband. Instead of being reconnected as a family and a couple and having fun I was stressing out with the news and getting stomachaches and headaches and having random panic attacks in Target.

After talking with a bunch of people and doing more research I saw that the base we’d be headed to (outside Atlanta) would be closing in 2010 and moving down to Macon. So I’d have to move not once, but twice, in a foreign state. I’m the worst military wife ever. I want to stay in one place my entire life. We’ve been in this house for five years already. Some people love to move. Guess I’m boring. I love routine. I grow deep roots. The last time the military moved us out of state it was just Bill and I and our eleven months of marriage-acquired-possessions. Now we’ve added two cats, two kids and a whole heckuva lot more stuff than would fit in a one bedroom apartment. I remember when the movers came the first time. They number your boxes. All of our possessions fit into 60 boxes. Sixty. I think I have sixty boxes of Christmas decorations now.

Well, then everything changed. Someone else had filled that spot. My husband had been telling everyone he could at work that he is married to a crazy lady who is digging her nails into her home soil and screaming curses on Uncle Sam. His monitor (the guy who decides where we go) gave us another option. The good? It’s not Georgia. The bad? It’s not here. The unknown emotion? It’s Colorado. Hm. Colorado. We drove through Colorado on our way back home after living in Virginia for a short time. Beautiful, yes. Beaches on the Pacific? None. Not good. Snow? Yep. Um…I don’t know how to live in snow. Snow is something we drive to for a day trip. Oh, and my friends and family don’t live in Colorado, they live here in San Diego. Well, most of them. And then there’s my job.

On the flip side, I’ve heard nothing negative about Colorado and those who’ve lived there say they’d go back in a heartbeat. We’d be at an Air Force base which means if we got into housing, it would actually be decent instead of the horrible housing we’ve lived in twice before while on Marine bases. It’s a 15 hour drive from here. A two or three hour plane ride. It’s for two and a half years. I’m doing my Lamaze breathing. Chanting. Putting my thumb and middle fingers together and saying, ‘ooohhhhmmmmm’ to take me to my happy place.

Housing is cheap…I mean inexpensive. Of course, I’d think that about almost anyway compared to here, I’m sure. Should we buy and then sell or rent when he retires? We have to make all new friends. And buy things like long underwear and boots and…I can hardly say it…an ice scraper for the car. And the worse thing? There is NO Ikea in the ENTIRE state of Colorado. What is that all about??

Both my kids will be in school in the fall. Leah is starting kindergarten. What in the world and I going to do during the day??? I’ve been working since 2005 at my job. I’m not used to that much free time.

What will I call my blog? Snowy Eggo? Doesn’t have the same ring to it. ‘Just trying to get back to Sandy Eggo’? ‘The stupid military moved me away from everyone I love and all I got was this blog’? I don’t now.

This post doesn’t even include all the fun stuff we’ve been doing. Guess that will have to wait for another day. If you have any insights or advice for living in Colorado, let me know.

**See? I'm so freaking out that I totally forgot that I already posted that. I swear, I'm losing brain cells and acquiring wrinkles.

Monday, October 27, 2008


On March 13, 2008 the love of my life left me. Ok, so it’s not as soap opera-ey as it sounds. My husband had to get on a plane and fly to the other side of the world AGAIN. He was deploying to Iraq for tour number three. THREE! This was deployment number four since 2003 but one of those was to Japan which was great for him, hard for me. Anywhoooo, after being told he’d be home mid-September and then, nope, not till after October 1st, well, maybe the 10th, no, the 15th…well how bout the 20th? No, the 21st…he finally came home. Oh, did I mention in previous posts that I hate not knowing what’s going on? I know this is God’s way of letting me know He’s in control but I’m still the type of girl who has an obsession with calendars and dayplanners and knowing what’s going on when, in color coordination, please.

Usually homecoming involves a homecoming brief for all of the spouses going over when they’re getting back, what to expect as far as PTSD, strange habits like preferring to sleep on the hard floor over the soft mattress, not controlling their ‘boy’ tendencies since they’ve been around ‘boys’ for so long (i.e. not using their manners when it comes to body functions…ahem), and a fear of crowds. They also talk about what NOT to wear. Don’t dress like a stripper, save that for home. Make sure your skirt is long enough so that when you go to hug him, it doesn’t ride up and show the world what’s going on underneath. No trench coats: we all know what’s under there…or not. Things like that. Well, this was my fourth homecoming and he was coming home without the rest of his unit which is staying until January so I didn’t attend a briefing. I wasn’t part of a huge crowd of wives and kids dressed in their best awaiting the big white bus. I actually got elite treatment and was able to drive up to March to pick my husband up. The rest of the guys on his plane were actually headed to a different base and he just happened to hitch a ride on their flight. The kids and I got to watch Bill actually depart the plane and walk down to the tarmac. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of that. I was clearly warned that if I was caught taking photos (since it’s a government airstrip or something like that) they would confiscate my camera. Didn’t they know I needed to scrapbook this momentous occasion? We were so excited to see him, and amazingly, I could pick him out of the sea of desert cammie tan boys walking down the steps of the plane. He motioned that he needed to go through processing on the other side and as I got ready to walk over there, I noticed Trey was lagging behind. He was crying! “What’s the matter, Trey? Why are you crying?”
“I’m just so happy daddy’s home!”
Wow, my seven year old is crying tears of joy!

It took a while before he could actually depart the iron bars and Marines holding everyone back from where a handful of us were waiting.
When he finally came out, my kids had run to the other side of the parking lot, too overwhelmed to deal with their emotions. That was the best hug I’d had in seven months.
It’s amazing to see your best friend again after such a long separation. I finally coerced the kids out of hiding. Leah didn’t say anything but squeezed her daddy as tight as she could all the while showing a huge smile on her face.
Trey was a little more apprehensive, but once he came over he made all kinds of noise and gave his dad a huge embrace.

We were finally a family of four again.

It’s become tradition that I bring Bill and ice cold beer when he returns home. Spending seven months in an Islamic country means no alcohol so a cold beer is heaven to most guys returning.

After we said our hellos and thank yous and shook a few hands of other Marines,

we headed down to Temecula for some lunch. The kids and I went in first while Bill stayed in the car to change into civilian clothes. The waiter came by and clarified that we had another joining us. I explained that my husband just returned from Iraq and was changing out of his cammies. The waiter responded with, “oh good, because we don’t allow anyone with cammies in the restaurant.” He was joking, of course, but it’s against strict rules for Marines to wear their camouflage into any civilian arenas. Once we were done with our meal, our waiter came over and thanked Bill for his sacrifice and service to our country and comped his meal! That’s something we never get at home. Just being in the next county made a world of difference. I guess it’s a little hard to be overly thankful for someone’s service when you’re living next to one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the country. We get royal treatment everywhere but at home.

Once we got home, Bill found his welcome home sign that I’d worked on for about a week. It’s tradition to have a sign waiting for him. This one was definitely my biggest work of art.

Now, we’re just enjoying being a family again. I’m loving that I have my partner back, my help mate, my best friend. The kids love having two parents and a mom who is a lot less stressed out. Thank God he made it home safely and we’re back together, like peas and carrots.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Weather

It’s snow, er, fire season! We had a moderate fire last Wednesday and then I noticed one starting yesterday as I picked Trey up from school. Leah says, “another fi-yar?!” Guess so. This time, however, the smoke was black. Way darker than normal.

Trey saw the smoke and said, "Aww, mom, I don't want to get our pumpkin from the store this year! I want to go to the pumpkin patch!" We had to skip our yearly tradition last year because the fires caused the air quality to be so poor for the whole county and ended up at Albertson's 'pumpkin patch'. Poor kid. We came home, did our routine thing and I went outside to watch it. My eyes started running because of the force of the wind, and it even managed to push me hard enough that I had to readjust my stance. Then I noticed the planes; the super scooper planes that flew back and forth between the Pacific and the fire and dumped hundreds of gallons of water on the flames. The wind continued, the flames spread and we suddenly had extra traffic on our street trying to get a view of the spectacle. I even noticed a passenger with her video camera hanging out the window and she was smiling at all the excitement. Yeah, really entertaining!

This photo was snagged from the local news website:

I’d move back and forth between the back yard and keeping an eye on the fire and coming in the house to pull pictures off the walls, get important papers together, old journals and a change of clothes in case we needed to leave the house. Within five minutes, one of the fires spread a half mile up the ridgeline of the hill less than a mile away. Fortunately, the wind shifted at the right time and started to move west instead of directly toward us.

Quickly moving west

View from my back yard

View from my front yard

The fire continued to burn into the night and the rest of this hill is now scorched black. All of the greenery below is part of a nature preserve. CalFires did an awesome job and made sure everyone was safe.

Fortunately, this fire is no longer a threat, but the month is young! We got an automated phone call from the school district last night notifying us that Trey's school would be closed today. I figured this must be what it's like to get notification that the school is having a snow day, but way less fun.

Good times!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Totally Random & HEY! is that Big Bird?

I am, apparently, losing my mind. For one, this blog post will be so random, you won’t be able to tell which way the turn is coming up. Second, I’m forgetting things. Normal things. Not things like the capital of Vermont or what the current price of a stamp is. What is it again? I forgot to give Leah breakfast. We dropped Trey off at school and about ten minutes before we were to reach the preschool, she says from the backseat, “mom, I’m sitting here quietly, waiting for my breakfast.” Oh no!! Fortunately I had a granola bar and a bottle of water with me to take to work. That became her morning meal. A few weeks ago, I had to run to Costco for a few essentials. I stepped out of the car and noticed I had on two different flip flops. Oh yes. I did. One black, one brown. Now, my husbands 90-something year old grandma did something similar. She walked out of her apartment with two different navy blue shoes but she was 90 something!!!! I was super self conscious the whole time I walked through the store and was so glad I was at least wearing cargo pants and not shorts. Yes, I considered going back home to fix my shoes, but at $3.80 a gallon for gas in a huge SUV I decided to be eccentric instead of wasteful. The worst part? I had to go back and look to see if I’d already posted this story. Lastly, apparently I’ve forgotten a HUGE event. Did you know I had a baby? ME EITHER! But apparently I have because I keep getting things in the mail about my new baby, and congratulations, and coupons for formula and diapers and baby life insurance. Weird.


Leah has entered the world of living as an animal. Every day she is something other than a human. She is either a cat whose name is Autumn, no wait, Princess, um, how about going between the two constantly because she can’t make up her mind. And then she meows. And she talks in meows and has to translate. Then she expects me to do the same things to her, that I do to the cats including rubbing my fingers together to get our actual cat Autumn, to stand on her hind legs and reach up for me. When she’s not a cat, she’s a dog. Lollipop the dog. And she wants to play fetch. With markers. All the stinkin’ time. I give in, because I know her little brain is just working away and this is normal but sometimes she just needs to be Leah. She and I had to go grocery shopping the other day and while sitting in the cart she told me she was sick. A sick cow. I looked at her a little cockeyed because this was a new sentence. She then said, “cough, cough, cough, mooooooo.” It was so out in left field I had to laugh. She then proceeded to be other animals that were sick. A dog, a cat, a horse, a sheep. I really wonder where she pulls these things from, it’s definitely not from Trey.


I think part of problem with losing my mind is that I’m living in Dante’s Inferno. You know, where every time you think you’re getting close to the end, you get pushed back to the beginning? When Bill left, he was supposed to be on a six month deployment. His original return date was September 15th. Ok, no problem. Well, there’s this guy who thinks he is the Marine Corps god and decided to make our family’s life harder and keep Bill out past the first of October for fiscal year reasons. Ok, I dealt with that. It’s a little long to explain, but it has to do with reenlistments and paperwork and deadlines, etc. Saying that, Bill is perfectly capable of doing all of this work he’s doing out there—from here. Do you know how many people have asked me why he’s actually there? They find out what his job is and can’t imagine why he’s there in the first place. In the famous words of Monica from Friends, “I KNOW!” Anyway, that moved our return date back a bit. Then….THEN I get an email telling me that this same self-named Marine Corps deity has decided that Bill will not be coming home on the date he said he could earlier, but has to wait again, for another flight out a week later. This man is just a big ole meanie! He’s power trippin’ and I hope that when he joins the civilian work force, his boss is a big ole meanie to him, too. Immature? Perhaps, but karma gets ya every time.


So I’m tying up this post by saying…I can’t remember what else I was going to write about. I know there were other things, but I have lost my mind. It’s on vacation without me and I’m here trying to take care of my two kids by myself for the umpteenth time. Yep, if you add up all of Bill’s deployments from the start of this war, I’ve been doing it alone for two years. TWO YEARS! Ok, I’m off to get more coffee and get ready for church. Oh, and read the paper. That always makes me realize my life is pretty great.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day

I’m stealing this meme from Judy. You can go see her answers and the origin of this true Labor Day meme over at Where One Day Runs Into Another

How long were your labors?
Trey - 19 hours. Not the best day and a half I can recall
Leah – I’m not actually sure. It sounds bad, but it’s true. I think I was in the hospital with her around 2pm and she decided to show up not long after midnight.

How did you know you were in labor?
Trey - I wasn’t sure I was having contractions. I had to call my mom and she couldn’t remember hers. They started coming every 15 mins so I was pretty sure that this was the day.
Leah – I didn’t. I went in for a scheduled appt, told my midwife that I dreamt that I was checked by a different midwife and said I was at 5. My actual midwife got all excited and decided to check me and lo and behold…I was at 5. Weird, huh? She told us to go walk for an hour, but we had to come home and pack instead.

Where did you deliver?
At the hospital, both times.

Trey – I thought I would be able to make it without. I got to 7 when I was exhausted and couldn’t take it anymore so I got an epidural which was pointless because it didn’t work anyway.
Leah – I decided I wouldn’t torture myself and as soon as the anesthesiologist came around, I caught him and made him my best friend.

Nope. Trey should have been though. He weighed in over 9 pounds.

Who delivered?
Trey – see, the thing with military is that you get who you get. I didn’t get my midwife because her shift was over so I got some dude who should not be around women—ever.
Leah – cutest doctor in history. Of course.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm...Too Sexy for my....

One of my new-found favorite websites. Suddenly, your school portraits don't seem so cringe worthy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

1st Day Jitters

Today Trey entered into the beginning of the rest of his life. He started first grade. I’ve been talking this up to him for weeks, trying to get him excited about school. I was always answered with, “I don’t wanna go to first graaaaaade—uh.” What a way to begin your academic career. I figured we’d at least get to fourth grade before he decided school wasn’t fun. To counteract any negative thoughts about the end of summer, he and I spent the whole week last week doing fun things involving milk shakes and picking out school supplies, a playdate or two and a slurpee. How fun is that? My favorite day was the shopping, and even though it all involved buying things for him, he didn’t think it was that great. Male DNA: I’ll never get it.

This morning he woke up and got out of bed right when his alarm went off. He started doing the things on his chart that need to get done before it’s time for school. He was so excited. Breakfast: check Teeth brushed: check Bed made: check Hair, shoes, backpack, lunch: check check check check. He was ready to leave a half hour before we needed to walk out the door. I had to keep reminding him it wasn’t time to go yet.

(don't mind the pink background, my camera decided to misbehave this morning. The walls are actually white)
Finally, we got in the car and drove down to his school. We walked the path we walked last year for kindergarten. He pointed out his teacher to me (after recognizing him from his yearbook from last year) and then it hit him: utter and total fear. He went from walking next to me to clinging to the back of me and hiding his face in my side. His teacher tried talking to him. No dice. We walked, connected, like some human-giraffe out to the playground to look for friends from last year. We saw a few but he wasn’t interested in leaving the comfort of my waist. I figured the one person to get him detached would be his kindergarten girlfriend, Sophia. Oh yes, girlfriend. They’ve proclaimed their love for each other and have agreed that they will be married when they grow up. I saw her first and once I caught her eye, I waved at her and she came rushing over to hug Trey. A little girlfriend of hers was with her. Trey didn’t say anything comprehensible to Sophia, just whines and grunts. Typical man. She planted a big kiss on his cheek and when Sophia’s little friend scrunched her nose and asked if she loved him, Sophia proudly said, “YES!” Well, that wasn’t enough for Trey. He still didn’t detach, Sophia got impatient and ran off to the swings and here I am, stuck, with a very tall six year old with arms wrapped around me and a little four year old who is enduring the silliness before her.

The bell rings, it’s time to line up and Trey does not want any part of it if it includes being solo. I stand in line with him. He notices some people on all four sides of him that he’s comfortable with. I step out of line and back with the other parents. His teacher tells the kids it’s time to come inside. Trey bolts out of line, tears bursting from his eyes, and completely sobbing into my shirt. I walk with him to the classroom and the teacher has to pry him off me and saying, “it’s ok mom, he’ll be fine.”

I was shocked! This child has been in new situations constantly throughout his life! Different nursery workers at church, preschool teachers, different babysitters and he’s already finished kindergarten. I felt so anxious for him, wondering how he was doing, or better yet, how the teacher was doing. To kill time, Leah and I did what all girls do best when together: we went shoe shopping! Hey, Payless is having a BOGO and she needed new ballet and tap shoes. Oh, and I got a sweet pair of American Eagle shoes for $4!!

Anyway, I noticed myself watching the clock all day, figuring out when we could leave, how much more time, is it almost a quarter to three, is it time to go yet…? I picked him up, he was smiling, he was saying goodbye to his new and old friends and had a great day. Poor thing worked himself up thinking he was going to have to solve the quadratic equation and memorize the table of elements without any familiar faces. Instead, he got to do things that were familiar, with a new teacher and realized that first grade really isn’t so scary.

Makes me wonder what junior high will be like…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Didn't See That One Coming

Life is funny. And by funny I mean ha ha funny, weird funny, ironic funny and interesting funny. You think you know where you’re going and then BAM! the road ahead is washed away and there’s a pathway with bunnies and rainbows and music that you didn’t even notice before.

Being part of the military has its benefits. It has its downsides too. The biggest downside other than deployments are the constant changeover of friends. I figured that since we’re stationed in my hometown, that wouldn’t really be an issue. Well, I was wrong. A few friendships are able to be maintained regardless of distance. Most are not. There’s something about ‘out of sight, out of mind’ that happens with a lot of people. I’m not one of those people so when it happens to me, I take it personally. I had one awesome friend who helped drag me through my first pregnancy and post partum horror. We were inseparable. And then she moved. And now she’s got a different circle and doesn’t even communicate with anyone from the group she was with here. Another friend and I hit it off right away. She had a brand new baby and a daughter Trey’s age. I was newly pregnant with Leah. Our husbands got along great. We got together at least once a week for dinner and once a week at the park. Our older two were best friends. We all went to church together. We took them to Vegas with us for the Marine Corps ball. We had a blast. Then he got another job which moved THEM. Hey, we’re the military people. We’re supposed to leave, not the civilians. I have one girlfriend I’ve been in constant contact with since high school. Her husband is also a Marine and they’ve been out of the area since 2004 but things haven’t really changed between us. Why can’t this be the norm? To put it lightly and without dishing all the dirt on the other people, I have friend issues. I’m always looking for quality. I size people up. I’m not one to have twenty friends at all times. I have a handful that I cherish and plan on them being in my life forever. It rarely works that way and unfortunately, I mostly get along with other military wives because I don’t have to explain EVERYTHING. They just get it, they know the acronyms, they know the lifestyle, they’ve survived a deployment or four. I hate that because they end up leaving. I need stability. WHY did I fall for a guy in the military? Rather, why is the guy I fell for in the military at all? Well, that’s a rather loaded question, but it is what it is and this whole process has stretched me. Not a lot, but enough to be uncomfortable a whole lotta times.

During one of those uncomfortable times I was sitting at home, bored and not really knowing what to do with myself. I had a little baby boy and my husband had a relatively new job in the Marines. I wasn’t working. It was not too long after 9-11 had taken place. Things were crazy, unpredictable and up in the air. I got online and to bring back some peace from the past, I started googling people from high school. I have a very strange tendency to remember a lot of useless things: people’s first and last names that I wasn’t even really friends with, people’s birthdays after being told once (but I’m horrible at remembering to send a card), what someone was wearing to so and so’s 8th birthday party, a song that was being sung during a spaghetti dinner for a Girl Scout get together (Boy George’s Do You Really Want to Hurt Me being sung by some crazy older Cadettes while I was a very shy, timid Brownie. They scarred me for life). Anyway, I remember weird things. So I’m googling and not really finding a whole lot until…I come across this blog of someone I was in Spanish II with my sophomore year. Erika sat right in front of me in class and we would talk before class started (and sometimes during it). I started reading and found out all about her current life. I sent her an email saying hi and asking about others we both knew when she informed me that she hung out with someone I was best friends/worst enemies with between 1st and 12th grade. You know how it is: you meet when you’re six, you’re inseparable, you grow up, you get new friends, you hate each other, you make up and the process repeats until before you know it, you’re 18 and you’ve grown up together and apart and now you’re legal adults and how did that happen? We emailed a few times more and then I started emailing with Krista, our mutual friend. We didn’t really have a whole lot in common anymore. She and her husband didn’t have kids, she worked full time, her life was very different than mine. The last time we’d emailed was in 2003.

We moved out of our house on base in 03, changed email carriers and I lost contact with Krista. I figured it was just meant to be. I’d tried to contact her, but it just didn’t happen. Life went on, I had Leah, started my second blog (which you’re reading now) and kept reading about Erika’s life. Within the last six months I noticed that Krista would comment on Erika’s posts. I’d tried to say hi through the comments, but nothing came out of it. Again, it must have been as it was to be.

Less than three weeks ago, I noticed a link to Krista’s blog. I didn’t know it even existed! I read all about her life as a mom and left her a comment saying hello and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. We decided to meet one morning and get our kids together. In walks this person I haven’t seen in fourteen years who looks just like I remember her and it was surreal. The irony, haha, strange, interesting part is that Erika, the reason for our reconnection, showed up not ten minutes later for a separate playdate with a totally different person. Now that, my friends, is bizarre.

Krista and I met up again for dinner at her place and it wasn’t like getting together with a new friend. It wasn’t like getting together with a friend you’ve had forever, either. It was very much a combination of both. We had (and still have) so much to catch up on. Our lives and circles were so different in school even though we were in the same spot and lived less than three blocks from one another. There wasn’t an uncomfortableness (yes it’s a word, I just made it one) in her house—I felt at home, like it was normal and could just go in the fridge if I needed to, or search for a spoon in a random drawer.

We’re like, grown ups now, with responsibilities and kids and bills and real cars that have our names on the titles. We used to wear jelly bracelets and beg our moms for Cabbage Patch Kids, got excited over our first pair of Vans and Esprit bags, got in fights over rumors and hurt feelings, had sleep overs and secrets. It’s weird how people are brought back into your life when you’d never thought it would happen again.

Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver and the other’s gold.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who Knew

...that leaving a bottle of No More Tangles in your semi-abandoned car (due to the hubby being deployed and you don’t feel like driving that car…for a week…or two…or four) will crack under the August heat and leave a gooey, lotion-like mess on the carpet of the floorboard?


Something to remember.

(I got it cleaned up, Bill. Don’t worry.)

At least it smelled good.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I was cleaning my kitchen and somehow a card in an envelope had been forgotten, tucked in a corner. It was for me! And it had cash! Happy Birthday to me! With a $50 bill! Good thing it wasn't a check, my birthday was in April.

Back to cleaning. Maybe I'll find that pot of gold I've been searching for.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pick your title

Pick your battles. It’s the common mantra of any experienced parent. When I became a parent, I wanted to do everything by the book. I wanted to nurse the right amount of time, I wanted to make sure my baby was being mentally stimulated enough, he wouldn’t watch tv (what was I thinking?), he wouldn’t be on a bottle longer than necessary, he would eat organic, home cooked meals as often as possible, he would be home schooled, all his doctor visits would be exactly when they needed to be and he would just be the most loved, well rounded kid. Well, something happened. I gave birth. Things are so different when you’re living them versus planning for them. I’m a great planner. My follow through isn’t the best. I’m notorious for flaking out on things and it’s one of my weaknesses that drives me batty. I did pretty well on a lot of things. I failed (by my own standards) in others. One thing that my son has always been great at is sleeping. At two months old, he slept through the night and has done so ever since. I put him in his bed and he stays there. I never had a weepy toddler outside my room, begging to sleep with me. I never had a preschooler sneaking out of his bed to play with his toys. And now I have a six and a half year old that will still take a nap if I ask him to.

My daughter was born and my rules for my son didn’t fit her. She was so different. She was so easy compared to Trey. She nursed like a champ. She hardly cried. I just wanted to keep her in her present state forever. I still do. I just told her this morning that I didn’t want her to get any bigger*. However, there are some things that my son does a lot better than my daughter. One of those things is sleeping. Oh my Leah. I spent many a nights in her room trying to persuade her back to sleep. As an infant, she seemed to think party time was between 2 and 5 am most nights. It’s hard to be in party mode if you’ve only been asleep a couple of hours. As a toddler, she figured out how to get out of her crib right away so I had to install those silly childproof plastic rings on her door. She would get so frustrated and scream and cry until she wore herself out and ended up falling asleep on the floor. Once she mastered the art of opening the child proof door, she started coming into our room. I’d put her back. She’d come back a half hour later. I’d put her back again. An hour would go by and she’d be back. By 5am I would give up the fight and she’d stay in bed with me. Something I swore I’d never let happen.

When Bill deployed, bedtime for her became an even bigger battle. Her list of requests got longer and bedtime would take at least an hour and this was after putting Trey to sleep successfully within two minutes of closing the book we’d read. I got tired of fighting. I’m playing the part of two parents and this is one battle I’m going to let go for now. She comes in my room with me at night to fall asleep and then when I’m ready for bed, she’s carried (like the princess she is) back to her room. Her requests are still there before she falls asleep, but not as many. Her main request after I turn the light out is for me to rub her back. Who doesn’t love a good back rub? After I finish, it’s usually followed with, “one more time?” I give in each time. The other night, her request was a little strange. “Mommy?”
“Would you rub my back?”
“Sure. Turn over.”

“Leah, you need to lie on your stomach if you want me to rub your back.”
“Mommy? Would you rub my eyeball?” One of Leah’s favorite words of hilarity is ‘eyeball’. I’m not sure what’s so funny about eyeball, but it’s like her version of ‘smurf’. Remember how you could use ‘smurf’ in any context and it would become verb, adjective, noun, etc.? Eyeball.
“Ewwww! I’m not going to rub your eyeball!”
“What about my nose?” I begin to rub her tiny nose. “No, mommy. Inside my nose.”
“Leah, I am not sticking my finger in your nose.”
Bursts of laughter. And then she shows me how she is going to rub the inside of her nose. So dainty. “What about my teeth?” I start to rub her teeth with my finger. “Nooo, you need a tooh-brush! You want me to rub inside your nose?”
“Leah, go to sleep.”

*She was very upset at the thought of staying four forever. She asks constantly when she will be a grownup and what, exactly, she’ll be able to do once she reaches that milestone. I don’t dare mention that she won’t be living with me at that point since that makes her more upset.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Is it Possible?

My days at work have been…shall we say…lame. My church aka my place of employment has been shooting a movie all summer. Not some little dinky churchy movie, but a full feature film that will be released sometime next year. They’ve taken over everything. “Where’s the good paper cutter?”
“Oh, the production team took it.”
“Why can’t I find any tape?”
“Someone from production took it.”
“We just had thirteen pairs of scissors up here, where did they all go?”
People disappeared, too. There were only a few people here and there in the building because almost everyone was involved in some form in the movie. I was on the set when I could be, taking pictures or transporting things or actors to and from here and there. At first it was really exciting. It was so cool to see the filming taking place, the lights, the clapboard and all the other things that go along with it. Then, it just got annoying. Everyone was exhausted and the things that normally get done didn’t because the focus was on the movie. Ohhhh the moooovie.

I began working more hours the week Trey started summer camp. This coincided with the start of filming so I’d show up to work and have nothing to do because my boss happens to be the guy who wrote the script and is one of the producers. Guess where he was all summer. The movie. So at first I used that time to organize my desk and files and to get caught up on things that were on my perpetual to do list. Then I’d go to a different department and help out there. Then the work just ran out. I’d stick around for an hour but then leave because I’d be earning money for doing nothing and that just didn’t seem right, so I made myself useful. I’ve been catching up on friendships. Yay!

Yesterday, my friend CC and I got together at noon at our crack house favorite spot, Starbucks. We met up at noon and I figured since I’d been drinking coffee all morning, I’d get something decaf. Well, my drink no longer is offered in decaf. Oh, I’ll be ok, I guess. I got it anyway. We had a lot to catch up on. Inlaws, husbands, kids, friends (current and former), politics and of course The Jonas Brothers. Huh?? She has two teenagers. I didn’t have anything to contribute to that particular conversation. The most mature show we watch is Drake and Josh. We ended up staying for over two hours. Did you know that if you get a drink before noon, you can get a grande cold drink after 2:00 for $2? We love a bargain and had to take them up on it. I mean, we were already there. I felt a headache coming on, presumably from the large amount of caffeine screaming through my veins so I decided to order tea. Yes, still caffeinated but a lot nicer to your body. I love green tea. I like lattes. Green tea lattes? Yeah, not so much. Picture swamp water with a little milk thrown in for color. It didn’t help with my headache either.

After I got home I drank about a half gallon of water to try and flush my system out. It didn’t work. I went to pick up my kids, still drinking water. We came home and I made dinner. I had water. I drank water all night and STILL went to bed with a headache. My question is, is it possible to get a caffeine hangover? My answer is yes and two Starbucks for me without enough food equals an unhappy camper. I don’t know how CC does it. Every morning she stops in to Albertsons on her way to work to order her drink. The barista knows exactly what she wants since she orders the same thing every day. She has a registered card and gets her soy in her drink for free because of it. She’ll even stop on the way home and pick up another one. I’ve been in the car with her and she can’t decide what she wants as we’re going through the drive thru, so she’ll order two. Her insides must percolate when she heats up. I love coffee, but that’s too much.

I’m going scrapbooking tonight. I wonder if I should stop for a Java Chip frap?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm back

I have all but given up on this blog until now. Something has compelled me to pick it back up. I must admit, I was unfaithful. I opened a new blog in a new venue thinking I would be totally anonymous and post things raw and uncut, but I didn’t have anything to say, really. So here I am. I won’t really attempt to catch up since I’ve been gone for so long so I’ll just pick up where I left off. If you’re reading this, former-regular reader or lurker, would you please leave a comment so I know you stopped by? Thanks so much and I look forward to writing again.