Sunday, January 30, 2011

Twas the Night Before...

It feels like Christmas Eve here.

I can't sleep.

I know he's on his way.

I'm counting hours.

I still need to vacuum.

He won't care if I vacuum.

I've got to go to sleep, so I can get up in the morning.

I've got to shave my legs.

He's on his way!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Man Cave Fridge: STOCKED!

Look, honey! The Man Cave fridge is stocked and ready for your return! See you soon, Love!

R & R Grocery List

I have never been more excited to spend $105 on groceries than I am today.

I ran to the grocery store on my lunch break and snatched and grabbed everything on Jake's requested grocery list, plus a few extras.

Steak and beer just haven't made it to the list on a regular basis in far too long! I will give him credit...he also asked for fresh produce, cereal, milk, and "good orange juice."

Have I mentioned he'll begin heading home for his 2 weeks of R & R leave in less than 48 hours?! EEEEEEEEEK!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flat Jake Brings Some Cheer

Did you know Flat Jake makes house calls? Well...he does!

He recently came bearing cheer & some beautiful flowers to make a dear friend Carole feel well.

Carole had had some surgery, and was on the mend at home with her loving husband John & sister who was visiting from California. Carole & John have 3 beautiful daughters, Karen, Emily & Laura, all of whom I went to high school with. My mom had whipped up a delicious dinner to take to them, could say John & Carole are "big fans" of Flat Daddy Jake. So, packed into the car with the tasty vittles were my mom, Asher, Flat Daddy Jake, and myself. As we stood on their front porch, basket of dinner in hand, Asher excited to ring the doorbell, we propped Flat Jake up in front of me so that it looked like he was standing there. He had come bearing flowers for Carole.

The excitement that poured over from John when he opened the door to find us there was contagious. He was pleased for the dinner, and to see Asher, my mom, and myself, but he was REALLY excited to see Flat Jake.

See how they're doting on their favorite Flat soldier?

I'm no Doctor, but I'd say Flat Jake's visit to Carole really lifted her spirits and made her feel a bit better!


Daddy's in Afghanistan

Monday, January 24, 2011


It's been a good 8 months since Jake truly left our home. Since that time he's come and gone, but in the realm of "mostly" he's been "mostly gone."

When he left the last time, it was late July. We had our air conditioning on. The trees and grass were green and lush. The air was hot and muggy. Strawberries and watermelon were "in season." Sidewalk chalk racecar tracks, octagons, and words like "mommy," "daddy," & "Asher" decorated the path from our driveway to our back door.

Now it's frigid. The water pipes inside of the house just froze on Friday for the third time this year. Clementines and grapefruits are "in season." There is snow covering the side walks and yard, and the Sadie poops dotting the backyard are petrified.

Imagine not seeing your home for five months. It's been five months since Jake actually left home for the last time. When he drove away on that very early morning in July, I couldn't see through my tears, and neither could he. My heart was breaking to know that our precious son would wake up to his daddy gone.

Now, here we are, a week away from Asher's third birthday and our seventh anniversary, and we are preparing for Jake's R & R visit HOME to us! I've been doing some reflecting over the past few days, and I've come to the conclusion that I have been quite busy this deployment, but not doing much of anything constructive. I've been reactive, not proactive. For instance...the dishes start to smell, it's time to wash them, I have no clean underwear, it's time to do laundry, it's garbage day tomorrow, I guess I'll take out the garbage. The mundane tasks get done, but only the ones chirping the loudest. The kiddo takes precedence above all mundane tasks. And poor Sadie is just glad to have some attention from anyone who walks in the door.

There are a few things I loathe doing above all others....and the top of that list is folding and putting away clothes. I could give you the "laundry list" (pun intended) of all the reasons why...but I'll spare you. The sad truth is, some clothes that Jake sent with me from our visit to see him in September, and some boxes of clothes items he sent home, had yet to be put away. In some weird way, I just couldn't bring myself to put his clothes away. It was I wanted to see his clean clothes sitting there, amongst my clean clothes...and, I didn't want them all put away, shut up inside of drawers. But...I did it. This weekend, between naps and antibiotics (thanks to a 3 week cough that moved to my chest and just won't go away) I did a little "nesting" and put his clothes away...inside of drawers. I know he's coming home in less than a week, and I wanted to be ready for him. All the little things I've not done over the past 5-8 months (like put away his laundry!) I want to get done so that he knows we're ready to have him home! I even got his list of grocery store requests...which includes such things as "fresh produce, milk, good OJ, and Bud Light." That's my boy.

However, the Christmas tree is still holding it's position in the corner of the living room. There's just no way that wonderful tree is coming down before my dear husband sees it in all it's glory. He offered to help take it down with me while he's home, but honestly, I kind of like basking in it's warm glow in the evenings. Perhaps I'll leave it up though July...and by that time...well, there's really no point in taking it down at all, is there?!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Its been a while....

I am truly surprised at how long it has been since I last contributed to this blog!! A lot of things have happened and a lot of experiences had, but I am happy to be writing again.

I have been away from Bagram for a few days for not the first time and I am reminded every single time, how easy it is in Bagram to forget what the other soldiers on the ground are enduring everyday...and how different this deployment is from my last one.

Last time, it was not uncommon for me to be days, even a week without a shower, and if I did get one, most times it was cold and with very little water pressure. This time (with the execption of one trip) I have enjoyed a shower when I have wanted one...things like that matter a great deal to many who are on the ground doing the fighting every single day.

As I sit in the MWR building at one of our larger firebases away from Bagram, my mind reverts back to the simple mindset I had when I was here in '04 - '05...mission oriented, task oriented - fight the fight and go home...this time however, I have many more responsibilities to keep in mind and many more things to juggle.

I have gotten my share of missions and have made up for past slights...but I find myself realizing that war is a young man's game...and as many of the soldiers I once lead remind me often - I am not getting any younger! I look forward to the days that I can get back to running in my yard with my son and Sadie while Emily looks on, I look forward to getting back to work - responding to calls and getting involved with things back on the PD, I look forward to going to church with Emily and Asher and joining Em's family, I look forward to Thursday nights at my parents house with my Mom playing with little man and my Dad and I either enjoying a beer or a glass of scotch and a cigar on the back deck, I look forward to my In-laws watching Asher for a little while so Em and I can take the motorcycle out for a ride and enjoy it, I look forward to hearing the little, funny things that Asher says when he gets a thought in his head...these things and all the other great, wonderful, awesome things that we get to do as a family, a couple and with our friends are what I look forward to when this is over.

The last thing being out here does is make me think long and hard about what I am going to do when I get home and get to the end of my I stay or do I go?...because I do not want to leave my family and friends again...I need to become a more stable presence at home for Em and Asher, I need to be more invested in my career and I need to show people that I am not going to just drop everything and leave at the sound of battle trumpets anymore...

To everyone that has helped my family and I in anyway, THANK.YOU. To my family and Em's family - THANK.YOU. To all my co-workers that have been so great about bringing my family dinners on a weekly basis - THANK.YOU. These are things that no one ever wants to ask for, to have to depend on others for, but all of you have stepped up and really shown my family and I love - and that is something that will never be nor could ever be forgotten...and that I will fight for, forever.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Because We Both Need to Hear It Today

"If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I had my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails."

1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Giving Each Other the Good Stuff

Jellybeans don't really soothe the soul.

They're fun to eat, but really, somedays they just make me feel guilty for ignoring the treadmill in the basement. to get continue to get keep going on those days when the end of this journey seems so far off it's not in sight?

I decided that every day, until he comes home, that Jake & I will "give" each other one good memory that we've shared. For instance, today he "gave" me the moment where we stood outside of the hospital room door, and he looked at me and we said a prayer and we felt a sense of peace wash over us before we knocked and entered to meet our beautiful son and his birthfamily for the first time. Today I "gave" him the time we took Sadie for a walk in the snow & I punched an overhanging evergreen branch so that all the snow fell down on top of Jake! And then once we got back to our yard he tackled me in the snow. You know...those great memories that make you laugh or smile just to remember them? Those are getting us by these days.

Good thing we've got 13 years of them to go on...


I Saw Mommy Kissin' My Soldier Daddy

After he saw the picture of me kissing Flat Jake while ringing in the New Year, Asher said:

"That's a my mama kissing my daddy. He's a
shol-jer. And he's strong too. She's kissing my shol-jer

I love that boy!


Flat Jake Goes to Comedy Sportz

One of the most fun and entertaining places in the Quad Cities is Comedy Sportz. Jake and I love to laugh together, so this is a favorite place to enjoy with friends, family, or as a date night together.

Last evening we celebrated Dylan's 16th birthday, as we have for a number of years, with a bunch of his friends at Comedy Sportz. Flat Jake was able to enjoy the entire show from a front row view! However, he did miss the amazing Huckleberry's pizza that we enjoyed...those hungry 16 year old boys ate it all! And, after the show, the players themselves allowed us to snap a picture posing with our favorite hero.

Sounds like a "date night" to Comedy Sportz is just what we need for a good time when he's home on R & R in a few weeks!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sweet 16

Thirteen years ago, when Jake and I began dating, my baby brother Dylan was just that...a baby. He was a toddling 2.5 year old... Actually, Asher & Dylan are basically the same age difference as Dylan and I when Dylan was the age Asher is now, I was the age Dylan is now. Whew. That was confusing.

Anyway, Jake has always been around...for as long as Dylan can remember, Jake has been a part of our lives. He was like a big brother from the start...always there to play and teach Dylan, and someone for him to look up to.

Here they are...on our wedding day.

When Jake was deployed the first time, I was completing my senior year in college. Right after I graduated, I had kidney surgery. Jake was still in the United States and hadn't deployed overseas yet, so he was able to come home on emergency leave for 72 hours to be with me. Dylan was finishing up 4th grade, and when Jake came home, he decided to surprise Dylan at his school. When the kids came in from recess, Jake was sitting in Dylan's chair. Dylan was so shocked and surprised he sobbed & ran into Jake's arms.

So, Jake and Dylan have a pretty special bond going on. They talk about beating each other up, but really it's a "guy cover" just meaning that they really like each other.

Now Dylan is probably just as tall as Jake, and may one day pass him up. Dylan talks about his dreams to attend the Air Force Academy once he graduates high school. He's SO not a baby anymore.

Today on his "sweet 16" we had fabulous steaks and delicious mac and cheese, and even a little chocolate chip cookie cake to celebrate. A celebration these days is just not complete without Flat Jake making an appearance...

I'm sure if he was here, or able to contact us, he'd have wished Dylan a VERY happy birthday!