Friday, May 27, 2011

time away

I say it time and time again... I miss my husband like crazy!!
I was beyond thrilled yesterday when I received a letter telling me all about his first couple of weeks at boot camp (or at least the interesting parts) & informing me that it was possible that they would receive a phone call yesterday.
I kept my phone close by every second of the day & when I was in the store getting a few odds & ends, that unfamiliar number came across my phone!  My heart skipped a beat!
Not a second goes by that I don't think about him.  I've written to him more than anyone could imagine (trust me, I don't have that much to write about, but somehow I manage to whip out a 6 page letter every time).
I have missed him over the past 3 weeks & week three was BY FAR the most difficult so far.
I had waited so long for that letter & every day it didn't come, my heart broke a little bit more, but the second I heard my coworkers footsteps running up the stairs at work, I knew she had something good for me!!!
It was instant satisfaction!  And let me tell you, I cried the entire way through that letter!

The phone call was the cherry on top!!
Absence makes the heart grow fonder... that is FOR SURE, but hearing his voice makes me miss him so much more!
He says his homesickness isn't as bad as in the beginning & he's finally getting into the swing of things!
He had excelled scores on his PT test & has taken a leadership role within his division!  I am not surprised! 
My husband is an over-achiever!  I wish I had half the drive that he does.  I am so proud of him!

Brad's mom & I are starting our plans for graduation & my move across country.
I am so excited to get that ball rolling & to finally be on the west coast!  I am looking forward to time together with my hubsters again!
I think June will go by quickly (I'm hoping so, anyway).
I have a lot planned to accomplish next month & shortly after the weekend ends, I can say goodbye to May!
My goal is to keep my schedule packed & hope the days just fly by!
We're down to 5 weeks until graduation!!!

In the meantime, I am going on an impromptu visit for the holiday weekend!
It will be jam packed with lots of activities & I'm sure it will fly by, but I will cherish every second of it!
I will be flying a flag for my husband and all of the past, present & future sailors & soldiers this weekend!
Memorial Day & all of the patriotic holidays carry a whole new meaning in our family now!
I hope everyone has a safe & happy Memorial Day!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

1/4

Well, I made it 1/4 of the way through this seperation from Brad. 
When we were at the hotel the, night before he shipped, Brad's roommate (who had already been through boot camp) told him that the first 3 weeks are the hardest. 
I know he was referring to Brad getting over the hump of being in a new place & being homesick,
but I can't help but think it's going to be the complete opposite on my side of the spectrum.
The first week was easy peasy for me.  I was sooooo busy (I still am), but I thought, "this week flew by... Brad will be done in no time."  Last night I had the opposite feeling.  Brad's been gone for 2 1/2 weeks & I can't help but think I'm only 1/4 of the way through.  I haven't even made the halfway point yet!  eek!!!

On a good note, Brad should be receiving his writing privleges soon.  Every day I anticipate mail coming across my desk at work, but so far I've only received his form letter.  I cannot wait to read all about life at boot camp! :-)

My hubby would be so proud of me in his absence **insert sarcasm here**.  He's only been gone a few weeks & I have already managed to get a virus on the laptop.  Sadly, I wasn't anticipating this (although, Brad would not be surprised at all that I managed to crash the computer... AGAIN).  I was doing research on what to expect after boot camp and made a bad choice of links to click on.  The internet wasn't an option anymore, but our IT guy at work was able to rebuild our laptop for me.  He's such a doll!  Unfortunately, I packed my Photoshop & was not about to go searching through the storage unit for it (although the thought crossed my mind a few times).  I have discovered Picnik!  LOVE IT!  So much cheaper than Photoshop (it's free, actually) & so much fun to use!!!  I'm so easily ammused.

For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to stay distracted.  I was so excited to hear that one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world was flying in to Albany from Colorado to see her daughter graduate from college.  I wasn't missing the opportunity to see her!  I headed out to Albany on Thursday to grab a quick bite to eat & a nice evening of catching up.


Barbara was my advisor and my favorite professor in college.  She has been there for Brad & I for so many years & I've always defined her as a second mom to me!  She is wonderful & so caring!  I hate that I have yet to make it to Colorado to visit with her, but am thrilled to be much closer to her by the end of the summer!  I'm looking forward to making up missed time with her!
 
Todd (pictured on the left) was a fellow student in all of my Barbara classes & my co-host on our radio show!  He was able to convince Barbara not to assign us homework one semester so we could focus on being mentors to the new students.  He's brilliant & I'm so happy to learn that Todd is now an airline attendant for our US military!  I hope that Brad and I will have a familiar face on our flights down the road!
 
 
It was wonderful to catch up with both of you!  Please come visit us in San Diego!!
 
Last night was Relay for Life in North Adams!  I have been a part of the Bennington Relay for Life committee for the past 4 or so years.  I stepped down last year when Brad and I started making the decision to relocate.  I missed being a part of the committee this year, but really enjoyed participating in North Adams' Relay last night. 
I said an extra prayer for Brad's grandfather as we walked around the track & remembered my mom, who is the reason I started Relaying in the first place!  It was a very emotional evening for me, as it always is!
 
 
I have a lot to look forward to over the next month.  I'm hoping the next 6 weeks fly by!  I'm missing my husband like crazy & I just can't wait to see him march out on his graduation day in a month and 10 days (but, who's counting??)!

Friday, May 13, 2011

birthdays.

Birthdays... we get one every year.  Mine hasn't been my favorite day of the year in recent years.  Admit it, who really wants to get older??  Anyone else's birthday, I love.  I adore celebrating the day Brad came into this world (best day in history, in my opinion), but my own, I don't see the point in making a fuss.   I always tell Brad, it's just another day.  I enjoy spending each birthday curled up on the couch next to my husband with our dog at our feet, watching a movie, worrying about absolutely nothing.  Those are some of the best birthdays!

When Brad signed his contract in April, they told him his ship date was May 10th.  I'll admit, I was sad to know he would be shipping out two days before my birthday.  I felt a little better about the whole situation when they changed his ship date to May 4th.  It gave me a whole week to try to get used to his departure.  But, no matter when he shipped, my birthday still wasn't the same without him.

I prayed I would get a phone call from him yesterday to wish me a happy birthday.  I knew it was a far fetch & I was told by somebody who had already been through the boot camp process that I wouldn't get a phone call until his halfway point (only 3 calls over the duration of boot camp).  I was bummed, but, when I received my mail at work & saw an envelope with Brad's name in the top left hand corner & his handwriting, I was ecstatic!  That was the next best thing to a phone call!  What are the odds that it arrived on my birthday??  When I opened the envelope & saw it was a packet of information regarding boot camp & a graduation date, I was equally as excited even though it wasn't a hand written letter from Brad.  I now have an actual date to look forward to & I cannot wait to see my husband in his uniform in a month and a half!  I was determined that my birthday couldn't get any better from this point. :-)

I have some pretty amazing people surrounding me every day of my life.  My dear friends & co-workers planned dinner at a local restaraunt to help keep my mind off of the fact that the most important person in my life was missing from the party.  They did a darn good job at keeping me happy!  Thank you all!!!  We had a great time & who could beat $5 burger Thursdays?!?  I think we just found a new Thursday ritual!  When I excused myself from the table for a few minutes, I put a co-worker in charge of watching my phone in case Brad called (wishful thinking), but we left the restaraunt and no phone call.  I was pretty confident it wasn't going to happen at this point.

Since I spent little time at home yesterday, I took Damon outside to play & left my cell phone on the kitchen counter only to come into the house to 3 missed calls, a voicemail from Brad and a text from a friend.  He called... and I missed it!!!  What are the odds?  I carried my cell phone with me EVERYWHERE ALL DAY & the one second I lose hope, that's the moment he proves me wrong (he's so good at that).  Luckily for me, he called back & I was right there to answer the phone.  His phone call was the best birthday present I have EVER received.  I can't imagine what he had to do to pay for that phone call, but hearing my husband's voice was all I wanted & he delivered.  And now I have a voicemail that I can listen to whenever I'm missing his voice!

For all of you wondering, he says he's doing well.  We're both counting down the days to the end of boot camp and seeing each other again.  Eight weeks is a long time, but it could be worse.  The Army has a longer boot camp & the Police Academy is twice as long.  As much as I miss my husband, I couldn't be prouder of him!  He's living his dreams & I'm so happy to be a part of them!

In 7 weeks, I will be in Chicago hugging my sailor!  I am wishing the days away!

My husband has changed my mind about my birthdays.  I don't ever want to have another one that doesn't involve the two of us laying on the couch with our dog at our feet, watching a movie, worrying about absolutely nothing.  With his career, this is probably wishful thinking, too, but I'll keep dreaming! :-)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

going away... {out of order}

Last weekend, Brad and I made a trip down to Pennsylvania for a last horrah with friends and family before he shipped.  Thinking about it now, I don't think we had been home since last spring.  My, how time flies.
My brother & sister-in-law hosted a "Going Away" party on Sunday for Brad & thank goodness for my Aunt Sharon {of whom I get my love for photography from}.  Had it not been for her, we would have no pictures of this event.  See, in the process of planning the trip to PA, Brad and I were packing up the remainder of our things to move out of the apartment.  I had set aside both of my camera bags to go in the Jeep for our trip, but when I asked for them to go in the car, he put my backpack in my car & my standard camera bag in his car.  In most cases I use the backpack, but in this case I had my lenses in the backpack and the camera body in the black bag.  So, you can understand the confusion. 
I am so glad Aunt Sharon brought her camera with & was able to capture all of these memories.
Thank you, Aunt Sharon!!!


















our future begins today.

On Wednesday I said farewell to the one person in this world who really, truly knows me & the man who I go to with everything!  We have been looking forward to this day for SOOOO long. 
It's amazing to look back on our journey over the past couple of years & the dreams we were trying to accomplish.  We dreamt for so long that we never even imagined our dreams would become a reality & I just thought we would never make it to today. 
Brad has wanted to join the Navy long before I met him.  And, I guess, if it weren't for me, he would have a long time ago.  I am so happy that he is fullfilling his dreams & couldn't be more proud of him.  He was so excited to get this new life started.  Although, we were both nervous for the 8+ weeks apart, we know it's necessary & that it's something we will need to get used to.
  We have been trying to prepare ourselves for this seperation for so long & I'm learning that no matter what we did, I would never be ready for it. 
I was able to spend all day with Brad on Tuesday & Wednesday before he shipped out & it wasn't long after I kissed him goodbye that I wanted to pick up the phone and tell him how much I missed him!  It's going to be a long time apart, but I keep telling myself that the police academy would have been even longer.  I worry about how he is doing in boot camp & I pray my husband doesn't come back a completely different person.  I'm quite fond of the man he is now, I can't imagine him any other way (I won't mind knowing he will be trained in ironing & making the bed, though). ;-)


After sitting and waiting for most of the day, Brad swore in, ate lunch & we watched some videos on what to expect when he got to boot camp.  We said goodbye & I headed for home.  I received a phone call around 10:30 (our time) to let me know that he made it there safely.  I know he will be fine & will do great things in his career, but I am counting down the seconds to seeing him again! 
I am glad I am staying busy & keeping my regular schedule while he's gone.  I hope it will make the time go by a little quicker.

Brad will be happy to know that Damon & I are in good hands while he's gone.  Damon has been going on 8 mile walks the past two days (6 miles on the weekdays), which is enough to tucker him out and keep him out of trouble.  My friend Brenda is a lifesaver & is teaching Damon obedience & me how to be the alpha (a roll that was always Brad's).  We have been watching a lot of Cesar Millan and, so far, Damon is behaving very well around Brenda's dogs.
Brad and I have some amazing friends & family.  So many have reached out to help us during this time!  I don't say it enough... we are truly blessed!  THANK YOU ALL!!!

So, tomorrow I should receive Brad's address at boot camp.  If anyone wants it, please shoot me an email at aswedanceaway@gmail.com or on Facebook.  The only thing we ask is that no goodies are sent to him in the mail (I mean it, Craig!!!) that includes food of any kind or any other items that would get him in trouble.  Letters only, PLEASE.  I cannot wait for him to get his writing privileges so I can hear all about his experiences at boot cap.  It's so hard not having the opportunity to talk to him everyday, but I'm so glad we can still write!