Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Because it's reading time ...

There's something about the holidays that makes me want to sit on the couch and do nothing but read nonstop. I actually did this one day, and by evening I was nauseous and my eyes hurt really, really bad. But, I love to read. I may be "just a housewife" but I love to learn.

I finished reading Just Kids last night. It's about singer/writer/artist Patti Smith and photographer/artist Robert Mapplethorpe, how they met, lived together in the late '60s and '70s in New York City, and what their lives were like during that time. I've always romanticized what living in NYC might have been like in the '70s, the drugs, music, sex, etc. I think the opening credits of Saturday Night Live during the late '70s gave me this view. Whatever it was, I loved the book. I only knew the names of Patti Smith and Mapplethorpe, and this was a great introspection by Smith into both herself and Mapplethorpe. The book is beautifully written. I read each and every word so as to absorb the whole book.

I ponied up and started reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson. I have read the previous two in the trilogy. They are intense reads, that's for sure. Usually, if I enjoy a book and know the next in the series is already published, I plow ahead and read as many as there are. With these books, I had to take a few months' break between them. It could just be me, but I find them psycholgically and mentally exhausting. But I do love them, so I'm glad to be on the last in the trilogy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Because it's that time of year ...

I have this incredible yearning for nostalgia lately. I feel the need to comfort myself. I'm not sure why I feel like this. Maybe it's because Adam's still only been home less than two months. Maybe it's because it's almost Christmas, and we aren't lucky enough to live near family to be able to spend it with them. Whatever it may be, I'm nostalgic.

I want to be 6 years old again, sitting it the back of the car while my mom and dad (who would divorce a year later) bring my sister and I to my grandmother's house for Christmas Eve, in the snow, looking at Christmas lights the whole way to her house. I want that innocence back. The belief that Santa was real. The non-divorced parents. When getting an Annie doll was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I want to watch every Christmas episode of the best shows I used to watch growing up: Laverne and Shirley, Good Times, Happy Days, and all those sitcoms that made me feel good.

When I have a lack of control in life, I tend to gravitate toward my old creature comforts. Adam will be taking on a job with more responsibility next week. I'm so proud of him, but I also know it will involve even longer hours than the usual 13+ hours a day he's at work. I miss him when he's at work, and I miss Addison when he's at school. But I'm okay with this. This is life.

I will enjoy the slowing down of the next few weeks, because it doesn't come along often, maybe once or twice a year. I'm going to watch all the Christmas shows I can, read Christmas books, listen to Christmas music, and overall, just enjoy the season.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Because I admire her ...

I'm incredibly sad that Elizabeth Edwards is nearing death, according to the news reports. Though a staunch Republican, I've always admired her. I read all about the Edwards family when John was running for office, and felt awful about the loss of their son in a car accident. I can't imagine the pain a parent feels when their child dies suddenly.

Through all the news about John's infidelity and his fathering of another child while still married to Elizabeth, she remained classy. She even bought the kid Christmas presents. I highly admire people who remain classy and graceful during times of high stress, when they have the right to freak out and rail against those who hurt them, yet don't. They take the high road. I aspire to be like those people.

Although Elizabeth has been preparing her children for her death, no one can ever replace a mother. My heart breaks for her children, for her family, for her friends, for all who know and love her. She is able to impart her final words of wisdom to her children. I don't ever want to die before Addison, and I can't quite fathom knowing that I didn't have much longer on this earth, and the hurt associated with that.

All I can say is I sincerely hope Elizabeth is at peace and in no pain physically. She has a lot of admirers, including me, praying for her and her family. Godspeed, Elizabeth.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Because I effin' love to read ...

Bad Erin - no blogging for almost a month. November was pretty busy, yo. I'm looking forward to a relaxing December but for some reason I have much more energy than ever, so I suppose that's a good thing.

I've gotten my Christmas shopping done. Presents are wrapped, and have even been shipped to our respective families. Christmas cards (which were made in August - I've either incredibly anal, organized, or have a lot of time on my hands) have been sent out as of two days ago. I even finished the stocking stuffers for Adam and Addison.

Around this time of year, I get a hankering for reading. More so than usual, because it's rare that I'm not reading a book.

I'm not real proud to admit I just finished Nicole Richie's book Priceless. But after having read 3 500+-page books in the last few weeks, I needed something pretty mindless, and this delivered in that respect. It's a quick, easy read. It won't change your life, but if you're looking for something fluffy to read, go for it.

As soon as I finished Priceless, I started Matched, by Ally Condie. It's a Young Adult novel, and supposedly along the lines of the Hunger Games, which I still haven't tucked into the trilogy, yet I want to. Maybe after this book. Needless to say, I have tons of books on the Kindle to read, which I fully intend on doing this month.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Because I feel the need ...

Let me preface by saying that I am in no way complaining in this post. I used to be a huge whiner, until the advent of Facebook. When I saw people who constantly bitched about how awful everything was, I took a good look at myself and decided I did not want to be that thoroughly annoying asshole everyone ended up either unfriending or hiding from their feed.

I do feel the need, though, to tell what normal, everyday life is like for both myself and my family. I used to run my mouth a lot, to try to right the wrongs of the world. I've also learned that sometimes it's better to just keep my mouth shut, although it's been hard. I can't make whiners into Sally Sunshines. If they are going to complain, they're going to complain.

These are facts: Adam, my husband, is a first sergeant in a special operations unit in the Army. He started out as private way back in 1995. I was dating him then. I've been along for the ride the entire 15 years he's been in the Army, and in the same unit for 14 of those years, after basic training and airborne school. If I ever open my mouth to offer advice to other wives, it's because most likely I've been there, done that, and even got the T-shirt. It's not because I think I know better than them. Chances are, I've probably been through a similar situation.

Another fact: I have a son who is 11 years old. We are riding that slippery slope of the pre-teen years, and hormones are starting to come into play.

Explaining what life is like for us only applies to us. Our life is not what the normal Army life is like. Sure, there are similarities, but in reality, they are two different worlds.

Fast fact: The bulk of my family and Adam's family live in Massachusetts. It's more than a 20-hour drive from here in Georgia. I am lucky enough to have my only sister a mere 6 hours from our house. So, if you ask me to try to plan to do something months in advance, I cannot guarantee I can make it. This life of ours is not dependable. I can't just ask Adam to please be home at a certain time because I won't be there for Addison. I would gander that 99.99% of the responsibility for Addison falls on me. I'm fine with that. That is why I have chosen not to work in the past few years.

The 10 years I did work was part-time. Most of it was done from home. When I did have to go into the office, Addison was with me. It was perfect. I wanted Addison to know the stability of having one parent he knew was always there. That is not a dig at Adam. It is the nature of his job, of the military.

Super fun fact: The higher your rank in the military, the more responsibility you garner, therefore, your hours will become longer. It's hard for me to bite my tongue when I see or hear wives complain at the time their husbands get home. It's the military. There are no set work hours. So many times I want to point out that most days, my husband is getting home hours later than their husbands. But that seems immature to me now. I don't need validation for being patient. I want to see my husband more than an hour a day, but I also understand that he has a LOT of work, and that it never gets done before he leaves for the night. He is a stand-up, good, hardworking family man. We all have a certain level of co-dependency borne out of living this life the past 15 years. But complaining isn't going to make him come home faster. And I would never, EVER nag him. I think he appreciates this.

I know he has thanked me for letting him do the job he loves. I am glad he has a job, and one that he loves. Not too many people can say that nowadays. I support him wholeheartedly in every aspect of his work.

This hasn't always been an easy life, but it's been good to us. I would love to be able to have Addison grow up near his grandparents, and to have his cousins in the same town. So many times I longed to instantly be at my mother-in-law's house, letting her take care of me and cook me supper, as selfish as that sounds. Sometimes I become very weary of being responsible. I want to be taken care of, just for a day. I don't want to worry about what is for supper, making sure the laundry is done, the house clean, homework done, or trying to figure out what time Adam will actually be home.

One more thing about our life: We can't just decide when we would like to go on vacation. The unit plans the two times a year Adam gets his vacation time (it's called "leave" for all of you civilians). Four weeks a year is great when I see how many years civilians have to put into a typical job to get that many vacation days. We were incredibly lucky that last summer and this summer we were able to actually go on vacation to Florida, because Addison was out of school.

I do feel like I left out some basics: Like I said before, there are no set working hours for Adam. He leaves the house every morning before 5 a.m. He is usually home sometime after 6 p.m. Every day is different. We are lucky enough that he gets a smattering of three- and four-day weekends here and there. There are also the times he cannot be more than two hours outside of the area. He is in charge of a company of Soldiers. Some of these Soldiers get into trouble. I have been woken up countless times because these guys were arrested for DUI, fighting, you name it. Again, it's the nature of his job.

There's a lot of things people don't know about the military. I have no problem letting people know what military life is like, and that's just as a wife. I'm sure if Adam sat down and wrote out what a typical day is like for him, a lot of people wouldn't even believe him.

I wrote a lot of this in my head today. Typing it out, it's totally different. It sounded great in my head. I think I got my point across. I hope so.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Because this is who I am ...

I made an important life discovery a few days ago. I had gotten a new friend on Facebook who I don't know in real life but I do know through the Internet. I was thoroughly impressed with her Facebook profile - she's a brainiac. I started feeling bad about myself. Sure, I can rock the socks off anyone while playing Jeopardy! with them, but in the academic sense, I lag seriously behind. I'm okay with this, and this is what I figured out.

That will never be me. I'm not an academic. But, instead of saying, "Oh, I'm not academically smart" I started thinking of everything that I AM. I AM an avid book reader. I AM a really loyal friend. I AM a good wife. I AM a good mother. I AM funny. Instead of being negative and going through everything I'm not (in my own head, especially) I've decided to focus on what I AM. It's a pretty comforting feeling, and affirming. Try it for yourself.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Because I'm a simple girl ...

Today is the day I've been waiting for for a long time. A crisp Fall evening with my husband and son, with a fire going in the fireplace, some tasty adult beverages, watching a movie together, and BAM ... perfection. I'm way past that point of getting together with others to hang out in a garage and get shitty-ass drunk. Once in awhile, sure, but I haven't seen Adam in over a 100 days - he's been home a week - I'm not ready to share him with the outside world yet. He's gone to work all week (not regular hours, thankfully), and now we get yet another two full days together as a family.

Some deployments rip families and marriages apart. Deployments strengthen ours. We are old enough and mature enough to see what can happen to others, and it makes us appreciate what we have that much more. We lament the fates of others while being more appreciative that we are stronger than ever. We see what war does - wives who cheat, wives who have sex with other men while their husband watches on a webcam overseas (a pure rumor, but Jesus H. Christ, REALLY?), husbands who cheat, all kinds of sick, depraved stuff. I wouldn't believe half of it if I didn't know it wasn't true. I wonder where the truly normal people are. I like to believe we're normal. We don't do that stuff. We don't swing. We are in a very committed, loving marriage. We enjoy our time as a family. We like to do normal stuff - bowling, sightseeing, golf, fishing, what have you.

It seems like there's a whole different world out there, one I don't want to be a part of. I want to live as normal a life as possible. Sure, this isn't always possible. Things happen; shit happens. I refuse to let life break me. I haven't made it this far to let anything break me now. Life's just beginning.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Because I've got my groove back ...

Go ahead and call me Stella, because my groove is back, in the form of my husband. Every deployment seems endless, regardless of how long it is. It's like time stops moving the moment we say goodbye. But enough of that mushy stuff, because those are feelings I choose not to share with the public. I will keep those for myself and my family.

What I'm really, really wishing for is actual weather that doesn't feel like summer. Summer in Savannah was HOT. As in, I'll leave the house when it's dark, and even then it's still HOT. In my 15 years living in Georgia, I do not remember such a hot summer. The fall is proving to be a warm one also. We had maybe a few days when I could wear pants. Of course, the real Southerners wear pants yearround. I still have enough Yankee in my blood that if it's over 70 degrees I'm in shorts and the Southerners looks at me like I'm crazy because they're in pants, long sleeves, and actual jackets. Crazy asses.

We have near record-breaking temperatures today and tomorrow. I'm biding time until Friday, when the temperature will be about 20 degrees colder. YES! Break out the long johns! Okay, maybe not, but when it's so warm and then gets cool, it feels that much colder. I can't wait.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Because my eyes were opened...

Yesterday Addison came home from school and asked if we could go to his middle school's football game at 4:30 p.m. "Sure," I told him, because I knew he wanted to go, and I can see the field from my front door, so the fact that it's right there made that decision easy.

His friend was dropped off at our house, we put the leash on the dog, and two minutes later we were at the game. Addison had misplaced his phone, so I told him I'd stay in the same spot so he could find me easily.

Within 30 seconds, I realized I was in 'tween hell. I was instantly transported back to middle school (I went to junior high, if they even still have those. I don't remember sixth grade at all.) In a rush came back all my insecurities. I saw the pretty girls, the ones who were already wearing make-up and getting their hair cut at expensive salons. I saw the rocker chicks, wearing their high-top sneakers and skinny jeans. I saw the nerds, the group of Hispanics kicking around a soccer ball, and the misfits.

I turned and looked around. I saw Addison and his friend talking with other kids, and talking with girls. That's when it hit me, HARD. My son, all 11 years of him, was no longer a little boy. He may not technically be a teenager, but he's in that world already. My heart about broke right there. His simple life of Spongebob reruns is over. His life is now about girls, Facebook, texting, sports, school, and more.

I want to protect him. I want to let him know his heart will be broken; he will have friends who turn out to not be true friends; and many more life lessons we have all learned at some point. But I can't. I can't shelter him forever, and this is the hard part of being a mother.

I've never told anyone, but when I was about six months pregnant, I woke up in the middle of the night one time and couldn't go back to sleep. Something made me go into his nursery and sit in the recliner. Looking down at my stomach and knowing my son was in there unlocked some sort of deep emotion in me. I began crying, and started to talk to God.

"God, please, please, let him be okay. That's all I ask. I promise I will be the best mother possible to him, if you just help me out on this part." I went on like this for awhile, and every so often, I thank God for listening to me that night. I try hard to make good on my promise.

Raising Addison is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done as a human being. I'm proud to say I'm his mother.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Because I need to vent a bit ...

I'm not going to rant long, but this blog is one of my ways to get frustration out. I can say what I think and don't care who reads it.

I really wish people would stop complaining so damn much. If life's that tough, then you must really suck at it. Believe me, I understand life is hard, and it throws challenges daily, even hourly, to some people. My life is not hard, because I look around and see how much worse it could be. I could have been the pregnant wife with two young children watching her husband's body come out of an airplane in a flag-draped coffin today. That could have been me, but it wasn't. For that reason alone, I will pray very hard for her tonight, and once again count my blessings.

I do not take my blessings lightly. I believe there is something good in everything, every situation, no matter how bleak it may seem. Seeing as I have been a pessimist as long as I can remember, this is something entirely new and different for me. Maybe it's because I've seen what life does to people. People fight over silly things and lose family, people die and never have a chance to say goodbye, people lose good friends because they are selfish and immature, people lose their houses because they lose their jobs, etc. I could go on forever.

If people knew what went on in other's lives, if they for one second thought of someone other than themselves, I believe this world would be that much more caring. I would love to see people appreciate what they have, instead of harping on what they don't. I have everything I've ever wanted out of life. I wish the same for everyone else.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Because it is fitting ...

Tomorrow morning Addison and I will drive out to the airfield and get a 15-minute video teleconference with Adam. We had one last deployment, and I left that VTC feeling elated. I thought maybe I would be sad and it would make me miss him more, but it proved to be the opposite. I'm thankful for that.

I can't wait to see his face, and hear his voice attached to said face. It seems strange when I think that I haven't seen his face and heard his voice at the same time for 2 months. This sounds weird, I know.

What is fitting is that tomorrow is Sept. 11. I feel incredibly selfish writing this post. What happened to our country 9 years ago tomorrow still takes my breath away. It makes my heart ache. I can't imagine the pain of those who died and those who have lived on without their loved ones. But it was also that day that I realized that Adam would finally be putting his years of training to use - he would be going to war.

I knew our country needed to strike back. I knew Adam was a "go-to-war" Soldier, called upon first when needed. I just never thought it would actually happen. So if I don't feel bad when I see wives complaining that they haven't gotten an email in 24 hours from their husband who is AT WAR, I have my reasons.

Adam left a month after 9/11, after several aborted "Okay, I'm really leaving now." I don't know how many good-byes we had, and then he would come home, for an entire week. It was emotional, to say the least. Finally, they left, and we did not hear anything. We had no communication. The first I saw of what could have possibly been him was footage on CNN of his unit parachuting onto an airfield in Afghanistan on Oct. 19. I know I've talked about this before, so I'm not going to rehash all the feelings, emotions, etc. Suffice it to say, it was one of the hardest times in my life. Thank God Addison was 2 at the time and had no idea what was going on.

I plan on making sure I thank Adam for his service to our country tomorrow, and to ask him to pass on that sentiment from not only me, but all of us over here who so appreciate what they do over there. They do their job, and don't expect anything in return. The least we can do is thank them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Because I like stuff ...

Life's not all about complaining, which is easy to do but gets old. Here's what I am loving on lately:

- Sue Heck from the show The Middle, on ABC. She's so naive and so upbeat it's hard not to love her.

-The smell of Gain. I have Gain laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, Febreze scented with Gain, and even a Gain-scented Febreze candle. It's a clean scent and very pleasing to the olfactory.

-I picked three pictures from throughout the year and got our Christmas cards made. I love them.

-Antibiotics. I wreaked havoc on my bowels taking a week's worth of Keflex for a staph infection in my face in July. It never quite went away (the infection). I finally got a primary care physician (a civilian - I can't tell you how much this pleases me) and he gave me a Z-Pak. Please, please work antibiotic.

-Online shopping. Seeing the UPS man pull up makes me giddy.

-Warm baths and melatonin. I'm finally sleeping through the night again.

-I love the Capital One commercial with the guy who says his name is "Peggy." It's a funny one.

-The anticipation of Fall. Sure, Fall in the South is nothing like it was growing up in New England; but, I've lived here long enough to wait for that one really hot week of weather, followed by a day of rain and thunderstorms, and then the lessening of the humidity. Bye bye Summer.

-Football. Since my Red Sox are sucking more than a Dyson, my focus is slightly shifting to football. I love football. Not as much as baseball, but I love it nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Because I'm a Gleek ...

I finally watched a full episode of Glee that I recorded last night. It was pretty good, and I'll be watching the new season, no doubt.

Part of the reason I think I liked it so much is that Neil Patrick Harris was a guest star. I LOVE NPH probably to an unhealthy point. I know he's gay. I know he's going to be a dad soon with his partner. It's not so much a physical attraction - it's his sense of humor. I've always been attracted first and foremost to men with a sense of humor above all other qualities. How else can I attribute attractions to Johnny Knoxville, John Ritter, Tony Danza, etc.? They're funny. They may not be the best looking guys ever, but when someone has a killer sense of humor, they are that much more attractive to me.

NPH seems like a guy I'd like to hang out with. I just started watching How I Met Your Mother, and seeing him portray a skirt-chasing man-pig makes me love him that much more. He's a great actor, end of story.

I also have to be honest - Matthew Morrison is HOT. His hair is so wavy and he was dancing and it was pretty awesome.

I'm a Gleek, and proud.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Because I'm reading this now ...

I finished Star Island by Carl Hiaasen. It was a good, funny read, but after I finished it I wondered the the actual point of the book was. Maybe I'm not the best grasper of the point of a book unless it's right there in my face. Regardless, I enjoyed reading it.
Now I'm reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. He wrote The Corrections, which I've never read, but did download last week. I believe I bought it back in 2002 when it was published, but wasn't quite ready to read it. Now it looks a lot more interesting to me. I truly believe that as I get older, I'm a lot more open to reading new things, things I wouldn't have touched back in my early to mid-20s. I think I just really like learning, especially since I have no job and am not the most social person. I like being by myself, I'm comfortable with myself to spend hours alone. Of course, I do miss Addison when he's at school.
Anyway, I've been sick since yesterday, a fever (hopefully I'm sweating off some of these nonsmoker pounds) and I always think, "Oh, I'm stuck on the couch sick, what a great time to read." Duh. I always forget that when I'm sick I'm useless, and pretty much sleep the sleep of the sick. When I'm awake I watch t.v., because that's how sick I am, too sick to do anything else. I was so damn cold last night, I was shivering, but sweating, and had to wait for Addison to come in from outside to ask him to run a hot bath for me. I was miserable!
Today's better, but I'm still sweating this fever out. This might be a good reading day - in between washing all the sick stuff (sheets, clothes, etc.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Because I'm reading this ...

This is what I'm reading now. I've read another Carl Hiaasen book (of course I can't remember which one) and I enjoyed him, so I'm giving this one a whirl.

Because I'm growing up ...

Finally, finally I seem to be maturing. I'm still "fun" Erin, but over this deployment I've realized that it's okay to be quiet. I don't feel the need to share every little thing with the world, whether it be by text, phone, e-mail, Facebook, blog, etc. I'm comfortable in my own skin, in my life, and with choices I've made throughout my life.

What you won't catch me doing (at least I hope not): Complaining about things I have no control over. Sometimes it's just a lot easier to go with the flow. Complaining is annoying, especially when there are so many others who are either going through the same thing or there are others who have it worse. It's okay to do what you have to do, but if you can't get over something after a certain amount of time, it's time to do something about it. Whining isn't attractive. It makes people not want to be around you. Sympathy baiters just don't do it for me. Grab your balls and take care of business.

I am enjoying my quiet life. Though I don't enjoy deployments (that sounds wrong, no one enjoys deployments, duh) I really believe it gives both myself and Adam time to grow as individuals, and it also strengthens our marriage, because with each deployment, we grow as a couple. It's amazing to me, really, but it's true.

I have no idea where I'm going with this post. I lost all train of thought because I'm watching the Little League World Series. My bad. I'll try to collect my thoughts from now on.

What I have been thinking about is sharing more about one of my true loves: books. I love to read. I want to share what I read. So that may be on the plate. I'll think about it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Because I can relate ...

I'm 36 years old - not young, yet not old. I feel sort of stuck in an age limbo - I can easily hang out with a 21-year-old as I can with a 43-year-old. I have friends of all ages, and I'm sick of people thinking that just because you're that much older or younger than someone you can't be good friends. Maybe I'm just appealing to the masses. That sounds much better.

In the meantime, I am reading this book. I am relating to it, for the most part. I'm realizing you're either my age and have a child over 10 or a child younger than 5. There really doesn't seem to be an in-between. Of course there is, I'm not a total idiot, but for some reason it seems this way. So, while I don't understand what it's like to be 40 and have toddlers, I do understand that feeling of not being young yet not being old.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Because this is who I am ...

You know who I will never be? I will never be the woman who classifies herself as a "Mom." I'm aware I am a mother, but I am also so much more than that. I'm not going to list it all here, because that would just be boring. I think it's nice when women see themselves as first and foremost a mother, but I also feel badly when that's all they see themselves as.

If I see one more blog by a "mommyblogger" who thinks she's the only woman to ever procreate, I will probably cry. Come on, ladies ... while it's easy to fall into the a world of apple juice and graham crackers, don't forget who you are, besides being Little Johnny's mom.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Because it happened ...

I've finally grown up. Matured. Whatever you want to call it, I've changed. I do not give a shit, two shits, or a whole toilet full of crap about stupid things anymore. More specifically, stupid people. I don't understand most people and why they act they way they do. Last deployment I suddenly came into my own self-confidence-wise. This deployment seems to be one of I just don't care about silly stuff.

I would delete my Facebook account in a second if it didn't mean I would lose contact with those people I do care about, but may not have contact with otherwise. Sounds weird, I know, but trust me, I know what I'm talking about. What I hate is people whining, complaining, sympathy baiting, etc. I don't expect everyone to use Facebook to express how much they enjoy life and how great it is. It can be a good sounding board, but sometimes I really don't give a shit. Get over yourself. Seriously. Get over yourself. Your shit smells, you pick your nose and masturbate just like everyone else.

This isn't meant to air any rancor. I actually started this Bud Light-fueled post as a homage to one of the smartest, funniest, most loyal friends I've ever known. Jennifer I.M.C., that would be you. I was such an asshole at times during our friendship, yet you've always been there. I felt like I was always trying to tell you how beautiful you were all the time, yet I'd be at your house, and you'd be excited because you just got a new diet pill in the mail. I love you, we all love you, because you're you. Love doesn't know numbers, unless you happen to be a Real Housewife. Then it's bankruptcy or bust, baby. My point is, I am reminded several times a week how lucky I am at the ripe age of 36 to have had a true friend since the age of 14, when, in our freshman math class, she introduced herself to me by saying, "Hi, I'm Jen. Most new people don't like me." I swear by this. I had just moved to Cape Cod. Everyone should have a friend like her. The world would be such a better place. Even Bin Laden would come out of his cave to spend time with this classy woman.

That's my diatribe. From now on, I'll try not to drink and blog. I'm honest when I'm sober, I'm honest when I'm drinking, I just tend to be a little more sappy when slushy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Because it's lost ...

I seemingly lost my sense of humor sometime in the last few days or weeks. Just because Adam deployed doesn't mean I have to suck the fun out of life. It really sucks here without him. It takes some getting used to when there's 3 of us all together, all the time (mostly, unless Adam's at work or they're out fishing). You'd figure by the 8th time I'd be used to it.

It might get easier in some ways, but also each deployment brings about new and different challenges. Such is life. I'll deal, and be grateful for what I do have. Namely, a kickass kid and a dog who keeps us entertained because she's cute and stupid.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Because life's busy ...

It's been awhile since I blogged, I know. I've been busting my ass trying to finish my last two classes for my Medical Transcription certificate. I finally finished my second-to-last-class yesterday, and figured, I'm good, I have 5 weeks once we get back from vacation to finish my last class.

HAHAHA, joke's on me. I looked at the class today. I have an average of about 20 transcriptions per unit (with a total of 8 units). I trucked through all my other classes, and thought, "I'm way ahead of the game." And I was. I'm going through Kaplan University, which offers the course for 6 months, as compared to 1 year like other schools. Now I see why it could take a year. One transcription could take me 10 minutes, or it could take me an hour. It's impossible to say until I get into it. Most of it is a lot of research to make sure I have the correct drug, word, etc. It's labor intensive, to say the least.

So today I coughed up $50 for peace of mind. Why? We're on vacation next week. Right after, Addison will be in the All-Star games for Pooler. His first game is at 11 a.m. June 21. That's just the sub-districts. If we end up going to the state tournament, it will be out-of-town. Adam will be leaving soon. Addison will be out of school. There's a lot of factors that prompted me to pay the $50 for a month's extension. I hate stress, and there's about to be a lot coming up. I'm a month and a half smoke-free, and don't want to start again because of stress.

This is starting to bore even me, but I feel much better now.

Orlando or BUST!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Because I'm always thinking...

I've got two things on my mind today.

The first is how disappointed people make me. Grown adults, who can't get over themselves and their own egos, for the better of 10- and 11-year-old boys. Boys who like to play baseball, and be with their friends are pretty much without a team because adults act more immature than the children. I'm sad for Addison if the rumor that his travel ball team is being disbanded is true. Sure, it will free up our weekends for more family time, and this is important to me now, since we only have a few weeks before Adam leaves yet again, but Addison really enjoyed it, and it was good experience for him. I'm trying hard to get over this, but when my child is hurt or disappointed, Mama Bear takes over.

The second is this: I need to get over myself. I need to stop being such a bitch, and wanting recognition for the smallest things. Do I really need Adam to acknowledge every single thing I do for the house, the kid, the family? No. A small acknowledgement every now and then would be nice, sure. But not for everything.

Last night, he asked, "Do you even pay the bills?" I felt slighted. Of course I pay the bills! Many, many years ago when we had no money, I tried to put off paying the bills as long as possible. As soon as we were financially stable, I paid them, all of them, as soon as they showed up in my e-mail or the mailbox. I pointed out that his water wouldn't be coming out of the tap, and that the light that was on would not be on if I had not paid the bill. It made me feel like he really doesn't know what I do around the house. I was snide when IMing him this morning. I said, "Ttyl. Gotta go to the grocery store, because the food in the house doesn't just magically show up you know." Maybe I was bitchy, maybe it felt kind of good to be a bitch.

I like doing what I do for the boys. I like to cook and clean, so they don't live in filth or eat shitty meals. I even got ice cream and cones, so we can have a nice dessert tonight.

I'll try from now on to just know that what I do is what I do. I don't need cartwheels and fireworks every time I scrub the toilet or fold the laundry. I know what I do, and I'll be happy with that.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Because I'm a non-smoker now...

I've been a non-smoker for almost two weeks now. It's been surprisingly easy, especially since I'm using the patch. I really don't miss it. I suppose the pull of wanting to live a healthy, longer life appealed more to me than smoking. Who will teach my grandkids (in 20 years, thank you very much) how to fetch beers if I'm dead?

Along with not smoking, I'm exercising. Not because I like it so much, although the endorphins are pretty awesome, but because I'm eating like a heifer. At least I'm aware of it, so I don't end up looking like Roseanne, but still ... I had a really hard time not buying the humongous box of Snickers today at Sam's. I would probably sit down and eat about 10 in one sitting. My appetite has returned, I can smell my food, and damn, I like to eat now. Wonderful. I'm really hoping the exercise keeps the fat off. It looks like it's Fruit City from here on out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Because it's day two...

Adam and I started the nicotine patch yesterday in an attempt to kick our habits (snuff for him, cigs for me). I am determined to be a non-smoker, and for a lot of reasons. I like looking young and still getting carded. I want to live to see my grandkids. I'm stupid enough to have been smoking with mild asthma for the past 17 years. I know, DUH. I've had enough sickness that I know what it's like to not be able to breathe properly. I don't ever want to have that feeling permanently. I'd have to call Jack Kevorkian.

The nicotine addiction is bad. But, with the help of the patch, tolerable. For me, it's all about filling in that extra time I so often spent outside smoking. Yesterday I got down on my hands and knees with a nail brush and cleaned my kitchen tile floor with Clorox Clean-Up. I scrubbed the shit out of it, and now have a very clean floor. I even got the grout clean again.

Today I scrubbed my shower. If you have hard water, you know how hard this can be. I swear by the Scrubbing Bubbles in the blue can and a yellow Dobie pad. Just put a little ass into it and it actually gets clean. I tried everything for my glass shower door. Again, I swear by spraying a little cooking spray on it and rubbing it in. Voila!

So I'm keeping busy. I'm treating this like a competition, because no one, absolutely no one, beats me. Okay, Adam beats me at most things (except basketball - I'm 5'2" and he's 6'3", but the boy has no game), but this is one showdown I'm going to win.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Because this is what I'm digging...

I'm very decidely a creature of habit. When I was in the second grade I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, every single day. When I find something I like, I stick with it.

I do like some variety though. I find myself obsessed (not creepy-like, just interested in) different things. They may vary from day to day, week to week, etc. You know what I mean.

This is what I'm digging on right now:

*History. I've always liked history, but never got into it. It's Adam's thing. He's a history major. I started watching the History Channel documentary series "America The Story of Us" and I'm now really, really interested in everything history-related. I find myself wanting to know every detail of the Pilgrims (which I always liked anyway), the Revolutionary War, etc.

*Betty White. I've always loved her. Suddenly everyone else does too. Well, I've loved her since I was a teenager, when I watched the Golden Girls every Saturday night.

*Books. I've downloaded more than I can read on my Kindle, but it's a comfort thing for me. I like to know I have a lot of different books available for me to read at any one time. Today I bought Laura Bush's book, Spoken from the Heart, The Imperfectionists: A Novel, and Shit My Dad Says. I also ordered Jen Lancaster's new book to be delivered since it's not available on the Kindle, at least not yet. I really, really hope it makes it here by Friday like Amazon said.

*Candles. Okay, this is nothing new. I'm obsessed with candles. I enjoy everything about candles. I love buying new candles. Right now I'm into fruity, tropical scents, maybe because it's been HOT here in Savannah.

*Hockey. I'm loving the way the Bruins are plowing through games and opponents. I've always loved hockey, but don't get a lot of opportunities to watch the Bruins. It's fun to get into the game, yell at the t.v., and high five Adam when we score.

Here's what I'm not digging: the shitty way the Red Sox are playing; cleaning; schoolwork. I know this is all normal.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Because I'm trying hard...

I'm a t-shirt and shorts kind of girl. I like to be comfortable. In the winter, I'm one of those people wearing the velour J.Lo pantsets, because they're so damn comfy. Not the most fashionable, I know, but I do make sure there are never any words blazing across my backside.

Every Spring I get a wild hair up my ass and decide that this year I will "girlify" myself. I love sundresses, I like cute tops, but I never feel really comfortable in them. I don't think I really have a "style" per se, so I'm trying to discover that. I suppose I'm most comfortable in the preppy style, since I spent my high school years wearing Polo and LL Bean, but I DO NOT want to look like a 15-year-old. It's hard to be stylish without looking like I'm trying to revert back 20 years. What's a girl to do?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because I'll accept all forms of money....

Um, Red Sox Nation, you're welcome? That's two wins in a row since I told the Sox to get their heads out of their asses and play some baseball. Apparently they listened. Not only were they wins, they were wins in spectacular, I-yelled-so-loud-and-jumped-out-of-my-recliner-and-scared-the-dog-away way.

Adam was at work Tuesday night when I sent him the IM that said, "We won, we won, we won! Darnell McDonald got a walk-off hit off the Monstah! Who the fuck is Darnell McDonald?"

I know him now. Dude is awesome. Don't send him back to Pawtucket, Tito. I'm already planning on managing his campaign to run for president in 2012, he needs as much exposure right now as he can get if I'm going to get him in the White House. And Tito, like I told Theo the Wonderkid, as much as I love the Papi, he's got to go. Keep Lowell in there. Was that homerun last night not enough proof to you?

So, RSN, again, you're welcome. If we hit the skids again, you're on your own.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Because it worked last year...

I really didn't think I'd need to be writing this two weeks into the season, but once again, the Red Sox are shittin' the bed.

This happened at the beginning of last season. Loss after loss after loss prompted me to take to my blog and publicly decry their crappy play. So, here I am again. I'm not asking, Sox, I'm TELLING. Get your shit together. Theo, if you have to pay someone to take Papi, as much I love him and the clutch hitting he's done in the past, do it. He sucks. And if you are paying someone that much money and they're not doing their job, you fire them. It happens in real life. I know, contracts and yada yada yada, but do the right thing.

I have so much Sox gear, yet I really don't feel like parading around in it like I usually do, year round here in Georgia. I'm still a part of RSN, I'm no bandwagoner, but seriously boys, let's start playing some baseball.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Because it was a thrill of a lifetime...

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, and if you know about SPD, you know it's a huge party in Savannah, an entire weeklong celebration.

We had our military ball on March 13, and of course, hit the bars afterward. There's nothing quite like partying in downtown Savannah with revelers in their green garb and get-ups. Needless to say, I had such an incredible time I wish we could do it every weekend.

One of the best things about being stationed in Savannah is the tremendous support of the military here. It's a stark contrast to Fort Benning and Columbus, where you had to hide the unit, because no one liked us. Adam's unit is always in the St. Patrick's Day parade. I didn't make it last year, because our dog was on his last legs and couldn't have gone that long without being let out.

Anyway, this year I went. It was one of the best, most thrilling days of my life. They provided a bus for us wives to get downtown, so as to not have to battle traffic. Our bus was behind the guys' bus, and we all had a police escort downtown. It was so cool to see people on the sides of the road waving at the guys and giving them a thumbs up.

The tradition in Savannah is that the girls (old, young, in-between) don red lipstick, and go out and kiss the military men. I had my lip gloss on, and gave my camera to my friend to take the picture of me kissing Adam when he marched by. As soon as I saw him coming down the street, I took off like a bat out of hell and immediately stuck my lips on his. We were hugging and kissing to the point where the parade-goers behind us were yelling, "WOOHOO!!!" I was so overcome with emotion and pride.

It was truly, truly, one of those moments that I will constantly replay in my head for the rest of my life, because it was just that amazing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Because it seems to be working...

So the Happiness Project seems to be working pretty well for me. Every once in a while, throughout the day, I have to remind myself, "You're happy. You're doing all this laundry because you love your family and want them to have clean undies." I'm not forcing myself to be happy, more like gently reminding myself to find happiness in even the most mundane activities.

I was reading a blog and the writer was talking about muffins. Since everyone is on a cupcake kick, I decided I'll go on a muffin kick. I made banana nut muffins last night, thinking I would reach for one this morning when I was hungry. Yeah right. Those donuts from Wal-Mart were screaming at me to eat them. I couldn't let perfectly good donuts go to waste, even if I was the one who bought them. After reaching for my fourth one yesterday, and trying to close the box, I got a cardboard cut. Like a papercut, my worse. Okay, God, I get it, I don't need to cram four donuts into my flabby self. Point taken.

Today I went to Kroger and bought what I needed to make the boys REAL blueberry muffins, none of that shit from a package. Because it makes me happy to cook and bake from scratch for my boys.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Because it really is a choice...

I downloaded a book, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, to my Kindle a few weeks ago. It looked interesting, and I finally got around to reading it over the course of a day or two. (I have time to read, that makes me happy.)

It's hard to sum up the book in just a few sentences. This is what I got from it: Yes, even though I have a great life, in my opinion, there's always room for more happiness. I can change my attitude to make myself happier, and in turn, that makes those around me happier also, even if they don't realize it.

One thing I have been doing, which was talked about in the book (score one point for me) was using things today, and not waiting for tomorrow, because we're never guaranteed tomorrow. Now, I don't have china to use or really fancy undies, but I do have something I love that I surround myself with - candles. I buy $25 ones, I buy $2.50 ones, but I love them all the same. Being cheap, I tend to only light them when someone is coming over, or I want a cozy atmosphere when it's cold outside.

When I started my Anatomy & Physiology course, I realized right away I absolutely hated it. I know, great attitude, Erin. BUT, what I thought was going to be interesting turned out to be SCIENCE. I hate Science almost as much as I hate Math. I took the prerequisites I had to in high school, then chose less taxing classes, like Foods, where my cooking partners had a dime bag of weed they wanted to mix into the brownies we were making. Way to challenge myself, I know.

Anyway, when I sat down at the dining room table with my A&P book, I lit a candle. It wasn't necessarily for the smell (although cinnamon vanilla really does rock the nostrils) but more because it made me HAPPY. What was the harm in burning a $1.50 candle (yes, it was on clearance at Wally World) to make crappy classwork more enjoyable? Absolutely nothing, and it made finishing that class (which I did in less than two weeks, I really do impress myself sometimes) that much more enjoyable.

I'm further exploring the whole "Happiness Project" to see what else I can do to make myself happier. It may sound selfish, but really, if I'm happier, I know it will make everyone around me happier too. At least, I'm hoping so.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Because he's not a baby anymore...

I bought Addison the Wii game Boom Blox Smash Party for getting all A's on his report card, and yesterday afternoon we started playing it. I suppose we both have addictive personalities to a fault, so when it was time to start cooking supper, I said screw it, let's go grab some Burger King, even though Whoppers usually do a number on my bowels, but hell, I wanted one.

We had the windows down (it was that nice, ahhhh) and I glanced over at him, and it just hit me...he's not a baby anymore. He's not a toddler. He's a "tweener," those kids who are not yet teenagers but not little kids anymore either. My heart just about broke then and there. I didn't feel old, that wasn't the problem. I can't quite place my finger on it, but I realized that he'll be 11 years old in June. 11! Where did time go? I never listened to those people who told me, "They grow up so fast! Enjoy the time now." I liked him more and more the older he got, but now, maybe for just a day, I want my little boy back. The five-year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed sweetheart who didn't know what Facebook was (and get asked out by girls on it), didn't talk back and didn't question everything I told him to do.

My heart broke just a little more when he texted me from his bed, "How old do I have to be to kiss girls?" I answered him back with, "38." We texted back a few more times (he asked, "For real?") and I finally told him that it would be up to him, that I wasn't going to put rules on stuff like that. I was glad we discussed it, even via texting, because it's hard for a boy to talk about stuff like that with his mom, especially me, who is extremely blunt with him and tells it like it is, which of course embarrasses him.

I can't reverse time, but I can learn to appreciate every single moment I spend with him, which I fully intend on doing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Because I can say I've been busy and won't be lying...

It's been a pretty great couple of weeks.

I resigned from a volunteer position that sucked the life out of me, and also made me realize a lot of people live in their own little worlds, entirely selfish worlds and can't admit anything unpleasant to themselves. But enough of that, I've moved on, and know reality will be a bitch when they wake up.

The very next day, I enrolled in a program for military spouses that pays up to $6,000 for schooling. I've always been interested in medical transcription, but I was always too cheap to pay for the schooling. My friend told me about the program, and within a few days I was accepted into the medical transcription certificate program through Kaplan University, with everything paid for by MyCAA. Score!

I'm fully immersed in my first real class, Medical Language, and I absolutely love it. I would spend all day every day doing the work if I could. I find every single aspect of it intriguing, and I love learning.

Needless to say, this is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I can't wait for all my next courses, and the best thing is that before July, I'll have my certificate in hand, ready to work, from home...being not much of a people person (the general public irritates the living shit out of me) it's a perfect job for me.

It's never too late or too early to begin something new. It's felt so great, so refreshing to start a new chapter in life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Because I'm going to need lots of tissues...

Thursday afternoon will be tough. It's the day we will honor our unit's three fallen Soldiers with a memorial.

Adam decided to volunteer me to be the FRG representative several years ago for a memorial at our old battalion. When I got there, and saw I was smack in the front row, between the two families, I panicked. I didn't know their sons, I didn't know them, and I felt very uncomfortable.

Everything was fine until they did rollcall. I was absolutely devastated when the sergeant major was calling out for the fallen Soldiers. For a split second, I wondered, "Doesn't he know they've passed away? Why is he calling for them? Why isn't anyone telling him they're not here?" Then I realized it's a tradition, and the sergeant major hadn't gone batshit crazy. That's when my tears started. I could hear the families crying, and I could not stop my own tears from falling. Though I didn't know the Soldiers, rollcall will drive the toughest nut to crack and cry. It's incredibly sad. Then, of course, they played Taps.

This will happen again at the memorial Thursday afternoon, when we will honor three incredibly brave men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, for all of us. These men will rightly be honored, and many tears have and will be shed for them, mine included. RLTW.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Because I'm totally lame ...

I like variety, especially when I'm shopping. That said, I shopped for 13 years at the commissary on Fort Benning, because it really was a hell of a lot cheaper than "real" grocery stores.

Since moving, I now go to regular grocery stores, and have been patronizing the nearest Food Lion for the past year. It's incredibly better than shopping at the commissary, even if it is more expensive. It's not worth my time or gas to drive to the commissary on Hunter Army Airfield - it's tiny and I hate always having to tip the baggers when I'm very well capable of putting the bags in my car.

Today I was giddy when I found a Kroger within a 10-minute drive of our house. I'm not one to foray into the unknown (we've driven around the area, but never to this part of town) so I looked up the store online and followed the directions. It was like pulling into the parking lot of heaven. A Starbucks, inside the store? Hell yeah, give me a LARGE (I feel stupid saying venti) coffee. For some reason, the bigger the store, the more comfortable I feel. I browsed around that store for a good 45 minutes, amazed they sell pots and pans and even coffee makers.

I know this is quite normal for regular people, which is why I feel pretty lame being this excited. Sometimes it's nice to feel like a "normal" person, not part of the military community. Don't get me wrong, I love the military life, and will miss it someday, but after 13 years of living on post, I'm really enjoying living among civilians, in a regular house we pay a mortgage on, and shopping at regular grocery stores.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Because, really, it is winter ....

It's cold, and that seems to be all anyone wants to talk about.
No shit it's cold, it's January. There's a season called Winter, and it's currently happening.

Sure, it's colder than it's "supposed" to be. It happens. You know when it feels like a million degrees in the Summer? That's what's happening, just in reverse.

I am digging the cold. Sometimes I actually miss the New England winters of my youth, though not very often. I like a little taste of it now and then. Of course, if it's still like this in two weeks, I'll be among the bitching. For now, I'm going to enjoy the sweaters, blankets, fires in the fireplace and warm comfort food courtesy of Paula Deen and sons' cookbooks.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Because I'm turning into freakin' Martha ...

I have no clue why, but lately I'm the goddess of domestic. I wake up and start thinking about what I can clean. I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, because in the last two (almost three) years of not working, I have not been the best housewife I could have been. Who wouldn't rather sit on their ass watching t.v.? Not everyone is lazy like me, and I'd prefer to lounge on the couch and read a book, read a magazine, stalk people on Facebook or anything besides clean.

So what has gotten into me? I guess I've finally grasped the concept that I am a housewife, and this is my job. No one else is going to dust the furniture, because, really, between Adam and Addison, they are male and don't notice dust. They also don't notice that the toilet bowl is big enough to be able to get all their urine inside it, not on the outside. I'm thinking of trying to get them to sit when peeing. Maybe I'll stitch up a sampler of the tried but true, "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie, wipe the seatie."

Regardless, I feel good having a clean house and underwear in my drawer, not languishing in a basket. I have found out I can cook. I'm not spectacular and will never be invited to be on The Next Food Network Star, but I've moved beyond tacos and beef stew. I even bought myself a Paula Deen hand grater, and a zester, because everyone needs a zester, right?