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Friday, April 29, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #38

Head over to Wife Of A Sailor to link up!

1.  Have you and your spouse agreed to live in separate locations (a geographical bachelor tour) knowing that the short-term inconvenience would have long-term benefits for your family? How did it work for you? submitted by When Good People Get Together

We did this for a whole 3 months in between when Jason left for Guam (April 2009) and when I followed (July 2009).  I hated every single minute of it.  I don't see us doing a geo-bache thing unless there is just absolutely no way around it.

2.  What is your favorite thing about being a MilSpouse? submitted by Sarah Ruth Today

Oddly enough, my favorite thing is also my least favorite thing.  The community!  I love that there are Mil Spouses all over the world who know exactly what I'm going through and how I'm feeling.  At the same time, I hate that there are people who I must deal with that I wouldn't if my husband had any other job.  If Jason was a random electrical engineer for some random company, I wouldn't necessarily even know his coworkers' wives, much less have to be nice to women who are so blatantly rude to me.  Ah well, such is life.

3.  If you could still have your spouse/significant other and your family, but take the military life out of it...would you?  submitted by Trust. Love. Believe. Bake.

What a hard question!  I love our life, but I think yes, I would.  We are ourselves, completely separate from the Navy.  Also, the military isn't going anywhere for me.  I was born and raised in it, and I would have been just as big a supporter had I not married a sailor.  I would know far less about the Navy, though.. And by far less I mean absolutely nothing.

4.  What have your homecoming experiences been like after a year long tour of separation? submitted by Army Soldier, Army Wife

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much that I have not yet had to know this feeling.  Please keep it that way!  - Emily

5.  If you have a child(ren) why did you choose their name(s)? If not, why would you name your child something?  submitted by Tiara's & ACU's

I chose Katie Beth's name when I was probably 7.  I asked my Pappaw what I should name my babydoll, and he told me that if he had ever had a little girl, he wanted her name to be Katherine Elizabeth and he would call her Katie Beth.  It stuck with me hardcore.  It's even what I "named" my diary when I was 12.  Mom told me later that it's what my little brother's name would have been if he had been a girl, but I didn't know that until after we had chosen it for KB.

Wait.... Would I change it?

I got a comment on my post A Letter To My 13 Year Old Self from an old friend who suggested that maybe I shouldn't really change the fact that I broke up with Jason in 2006.  I've thought about it a lot, and I think she's right.   He and I have actually talked about that a number of times, and I've always said that it was better we broke up, but when I get sentimental about him, I wish we hadn't.

September 06
I wish we had never broken up because our lives together could have started so much earlier.  So here's how I think it would have gone down:  We would have stayed together through both of our college graduations.  Since he would have been going to Charleston for Power School and Prototype, I would have gone to graduate school there.  In fact, he was pushing me to apply there when I broke up with him.  Considering I was accepted to all 6 schools where I applied, I think it's safe to assume I would have gone on to Charleston.  Then Jason would have gone to OCS and followed me to Charleston in Jan. of 2008.

Jason and his friend Brett after graduating from OCS
I think we would have gotten married in the Spring of 2008, in between Power School and Prototype. Then I would have to stay in Charleston to finish grad school while he went on to Sub School in Groton, CT.  I used to think maybe we would have gotten to start our family earlier, but now that I look at it all written out I can see that it wouldn't have happened.  I wouldn't have finished grad school until after he had gone on to Guam, so it basically would have been just the same.  Except I would now have my Master's and probably be a little further in student loan debt.

Me with two of my best friends on the day I graduated from Ole Miss
In the real world, we broke up and went about our lives.  Truthfully, I think that was the best thing for us.  We both got to kiss a few more toads and are much better off for it.  Yes, I said it.. I am thankful that my husband dated a few girls after me and before me again.  I'm also thankful for my toads, as crazy and ridiculous as some of them were.  I could never appreciate the wonderful man I have if I had not dated some who were less than wonderful.  (Read as: bat shit crazy)

Our first weekend back together, January of 09

So no, I don't guess I would change anything.  Our lives worked out exactly like they were supposed to.  And really, what would I be doing with that Master's degree now?  I'd still be a stay at home mommy, but with one more degree taking up precious frame space on our walls.

What hangs in the place of my Master's degree :)
Thursday, April 28, 2011

My song this week

I found a new link up!  This week I'm linking up with Goodnight Moon's Song Link Up.  This is Week 10, so I'm a little late!

Late as I am, I'm happy to participate!  

The time Jason and I have to be apart is coming to an end, and though I am a little nervous, I couldn't be happier!  This is our song.  I came across it for the first time right after Jason left for Guam when I was still in Mississippi.  I was listening to my new Jason Mraz cd and I found it.  The perfection of this song where we are concerned amazed me!  Turns out, a LOT of sailors and their ladies use it, but it's still special for us.  Since this is the last time we have to be apart for at least the next 3.5 years, I'm using it as my theme song for the week!

This is the GLEE version because Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat would rather I didn't embed their video from YouTube.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

A letter to my 13 year old self

I'm sitting here playing around on Facebook with Dancing With The Stars on in the background.  I hear "And here to perform one of your favorite guilty pleasure songs for Guilty Pleasures night, Hanson!"  Whaaaaaaat?  I stop in my tracks and look up to watch my very first celebrity obsession(s) singing the song that must have driven my parents absolutely crazy in 1997. I got to thinking about my 13 year old self, and how different my life is from what she ever expected.  So, here is what I would say to her if I had the chance:

Dear Emily in 1997,

You don't know it yet, but your life is about to turn upside down.  You will handle it well and even though it sounds cliche, you will be a better person for it.

You have some pretty great friends in your life right now, and that is awesome.  They are going to help you through the tough times all the way through college, and some of them are actually still your best friends 14 years later.  What you need to do a little differently is to pay attention to the friends who don't take anything from you emotionally and yet add to your life in laughs and fun times.  Trust me, you'll thank me later when you have a lot less emotional baggage from the people who don't contribute anything good.  You'll also probably get yourself in fewer troubling situations.

Dude, don't be such a drama queen.  Seriously, calm down with the dramatics.  It ain't that serious.. nothing ever is!  But in typical teenager fashion, everything is the end of the world to you.  I guess you wouldn't be you without the drama, but it gets old for everybody else.

Want to read something interesting?  Scott is one of your favorite people these days.  Yeah, he's a jerk now but you do both grow into decent human beings.  I know, I know.. You have a really hard time believing you enjoy your little brother's presence, much less actually talking to him on the phone.  But it's true!

Now, I'm going to break the rules and tell you to do a few things differently.

#1 - STUDY.  Yeah, also cliche, I know..  But it's the real deal.  You need a scholarship so you aren't paying a ridiculous amount in student loans every month until you're 30.

#2 - Don't talk to strangers in those really neat chat rooms you're about to discover.  Nothing good ever comes from it.

#3 - Speaking of those chat rooms, you'll feel a lot better if you go to bed when you're supposed to instead of sneaking to get on AOL after everybody else goes to bed.

#4 - Don't get so jealous over your little cousin that was just born.  I know you can't even imagine being jealous over her now since she's only 2 months old, but it's going to happen, and it's not a good thing.  Nobody loves you any less now that there's another granddaughter in the family.  She isn't going to usurp your throne.

#5 - Boys aren't going to start noticing you until you're 16.  You've got 3 years to not worry about it so stop obsessing.

#6 - Don't give up on soccer.  And in fact, learn to run.. You will be a lot happier for it when you're 25.

#7 - Don't go see Titanic so many times in the theater.  It will give you nightmares.

#8 - Go visit your grandmother more.  You're really going to miss her when she's gone.

#9 - Learn to keep your mouth shut when it matters.  Oh, and be kinder to everyone, not just your friends.

#10 - Back to jealousy. Just stop getting jealous when boys pay more attention to your friends than they do to you.  It's life, and it doesn't do you any good.  And the truth is.. here comes the big one:

Your life at 26 is amazing.  You have the best husband you could ever wish for, and together you have a beautiful little girl who makes every aspect of your life brighter.  Right now you get to live in Hawaii and you have a lifetime of travel and adventure ahead of you.

And please write this on a little sticky note and keep it with you for the next 9 years because it's so very important:  Whatever you do, DO NOT break up with the guy you start dating in September 2006.  It's probably the biggest mistake you make in your early 20's.
Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wedding Season

Wedding season is quickly coming upon us, as my friends on Facebook are constantly reminding me.  Of my 700-something Facebook friends, no fewer than 25 of them are going to get married in the very near future.  Or at least I assume it's the very near future as I see a lot of wedding planning going on via my news feed.  Just to say, how difficult must it have been to get your MOH's opinion on a certain flower before the creation of Facebook?  Just a thought.. Anyway, I digress.

I have been a bridesmaid 5 times and a bride once, and I hope to do neither ever again.  Well.....  I take that back.  There are 3 very specific situations in which I will be a bridesmaid again.  #1, if when this particularly wonderful couple decides to get married she wants bridesmaids, I will be ready to go.  #2, if when this amazing friend of mine gets married she wants me to be a bridesmaid, I wouldn't miss it for the world.  And #3, if whomever my little brother marries feels like she needs his sister to be a bridesmaid, I will oblige.  That's it, though, and those friends know exactly who they are.

On to the point..  I have some advice for the girls who are getting married and also for the girls who will be the bridesmaids.  I have been a bridesmaid so many times that I feel qualified enough to give this advice:  Let her go crazy.  Let her force you to all have matching toenails even though nobody would ever notice if one of you had green toenails.  Let her insist that you wear your hair down and straight when it's normally in a high curly pony tail.  It doesn't matter that you haven't seen your hair this way since 7th grade, she's the bride and it is, in fact, her day.  Your entire job is to make her life easier for the duration of her engagement, up until she climbs into that vintage car/limousine/horse-drawn carriage with her brand new husband.

And now, for the brides: Just calm down, let it all happen, and don't go crazy on your bridesmaids.  Everybody's favorite bride is the calm bride.  Yes, it is absolutely your right to flip out about every single little thing, but please don't take it out on your friends.  I actually think that's what your mother is for.  She's prepared to handle your extreme fussiness, your friends are not.  She can tell you that you're being atrocious, your friends cannot.

But seriously, brides, don't go crazy and don't worry about every tiny detail just because it IS your day.  In one wedding I actually saw a bride and her bridesmaid/cousin stop speaking entirely just because the bridesmaid didn't want to wear the same shoes everyone else was wearing.  Remember that you were friends first, and that after the wedding she will return to being your friend.

People ask me all the time about mine and Jason's wedding.  I suppose that's because when you're in a military community, the question "So how did you two meet?" comes up a lot, right after "Where are you from originally?"  (FYI - you have to add the "originally" because people will tell you about their last school or duty station.)  When I tell people about me and Jason, they want to hear about our wedding because I tell them that we decided to get married and then did so only 10 days later.  Yep, I was technically only engaged for 3 days before I got hitched.  Looking back on our wedding, I still love every minute of the day and how we did it.  There was nowhere near the stress that comes with most weddings, and I am so thankful.  I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Here's this week's MilSpouse Friday Fill-In, and as always thanks to Wife Of A Sailor   for hosting.  Head over there to link up!

1. How many pets do you have? And what type? submitted by Life and Times of a Displaced Jersey Girl 
We don't have any pets here in Hawaii, but my Hannah B. is still in Mississippi.  She's some sort of Shepherd mix.  My guess is there is some Australian Shepherd in there, but there's no way to be sure since she was a pound puppy.

This is Hannah B on the night I brought her home in August of 2006.  She was such a sweet baby so I had to have her!  She was mine from the minute we locked eyes.

And this is the last night I spent with my Hannah, back in December.  She lives with my grandparents in Mississippi because Guam would not have been good for such a long haired puppy.  They love her very much and she loves them.  She is very happy in Mississippi, but as you can see here, she was not ready for me to leave.  She just parked it on top of my suitcase while I was packing.. Sweet baby, I miss her!

2. What are your favorite projects to do while hubby is away? submitted by my-inspired-nest
I am my own favorite project, thankyouverymuch!  I work on myself while he's away.. I lose weight, tone up, get an awesome tan.. I spend hours outside with my jogging stroller, and it's great for me.  And then he comes home, flaunts delicious food in front of me, keeps me inside with him all day and I fall off the wagon. Ok, the keeping me inside part isn't so much his fault as mine, but you know..

3. What are the must-haves in your deployment care packages?  submitted by Christine’s Little Blog
Submariner care packages are called Half-Way boxes.  There's a wonderful night half-way through the mission (hence the title....) where the guys get to celebrate that point.  They have a special dinner, play some games, do some raffles, watch movies.. it's great for morale.  Also on that night, they get to open the Half-Way boxes that their wives or family members prepared for them.  Jason's Half-Way boxes always have beef jerky, PayDays, pictures, cards, and usually a little hand-held game or a DVD.  The very first Half-Way box I ever prepared had a two-pack DVD with Fight Club and Boondock Saints.  I quickly became Wife of the Year.

4. If you could star in any TV show, which would it be? submitted by Just a Girl 
I'm sure y'all are getting tired of reading this answer, but... GLEE!!

5. What was the biggest hurdle that you faced during your/your significant other’s first deployment? submitted by The Pavlik Perspective
Ha!  I wonder how often this is the case...  Jason left for Guam 7 days after our wedding, on April 12, 2009.  Our original plan was for me to stay in Mississippi, where I had my family and a good job, and plan our big fancy wedding for January 2010.  He got to Guam and I quickly realized I would absolutely not be staying that long.  I felt like I wasn't his wife.. I was his girlfriend with military benefits.  I hated that feeling.  I wanted to be with him, and if not with him, I wanted to be in the place where he would come home to.  That was a huge hurdle for me during his first deployment, which started May 2, 2009.   I planned my trip to Guam all on my own, though he did know what I was doing.  I made plans with other wives who were already there for them to pick me up at the airport and everything.  He had left his apartment key with one of them, too.  So I arrived on Guam on July 13, 2009 and he got back from mission a few days later.

A few days after we reunited on the pier for the first time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Birth Order

Raise your hand if you think birth order has some effect on your personality.  ::raises hand::  I don't think this just a little bit, either.  I fully, one hundred percent believe that a large part of any one person's personality comes from his or her position in the line of children.  

I am a first-born, and I am almost a stereo-typical one.  Traits of a first-born are as follows:

Compliant Traits
  • People Pleasers
  • Crave Approval
  • Nurturers
  • Caregivers
  • Reliable
  • Concientious
  • Cooperative
  • Team Players
  • "Grin and bear it" mentatlity
Aggressive Traits
  • Movers and shakers
  • Natural leaders
  • Perfectionists
  • Driven
  • Conventional
  • Always have things under control
  • Assertive
  • Want things their way
For the record, over half of the US Presidents have been first-borns, as well as huge numbers of military leaders, astronauts, etc.  First-borns are natural leaders and people pleasers.  Sound like a politician to you??

I am a very typical first born, but not so much the aggressive type.  Though I am a natural leader, I am also extremely cooperative and I seek approval like nobody's business.  It's really a fault of mine, in my opinion.  I shouldn't care so much what other people think, which is sort of the point of this blog, but I'll get there in a minute.

Middle children are hard to pin down, but one thing is for sure: he is the opposite of his older brother (sister).  That can manifest in a lot of different ways.  In my family, it went like this:  I was the model student when I was a kid.  Seriously, I never got in trouble ever and I had almost perfect grades.  Teachers adored me.  Then poor Scott had to come along and follow that.  In fact, he even had the same Kindergarten teacher as I had the year before.  I don't blame him for acting out and never caring about his grades.  Everybody just thought he was different from me, but in reality he just didn't want to act like me.  It turned out years later (when he was no longer associated as closely with  me) that his ability was in no way different from mine.  He is literally just as "book-smart" as I am, he just actively chose to play the opposite role.  I can only assume that the competition was over in his mind, and that's when he chose to act differently.

Now, last-borns.  More is written about first-borns and last-borns than any others.  Traits of last-born children:

Last Born Traits
  • Risk takers
  • Idealists
  • Good sense of humor
  • Hard working
  • Immature
  • Attention seeking
  • Secretive
  • Sensitive
Last borns also tend to be financially irresponsible, manipulative, and make the biggest stirs in life. For example, famous last-borns are Jay Leno, Howard Stern, Danny DeVito, and Billy Crystal.  See a pattern? 

The reason I'm writing is this:  My baby brother told me last night that he's leaving University and going back home.  He didn't have time to really talk, so I don't even know his reasons.  I have no clue what's going on with him, but I do know that I would never, ever have left, no matter what the reason.  My middle brother left University, too, and I was baffled.  It was the best thing for him at the time, and I'm sure baby brother knows what's best for himself right now.  

What makes me write this is the simple difference in personalities.  The reason I would never have left University is that I felt like I literally could not.  In fact, I remember a specific conversation in which I told my dad that I wanted to transfer to a different school.  I hated Ole Miss my first semester, and I wanted to leave.  He told me that I was absolutely not allowed to leave.  I had to stick it out.  So I did.  Looking back, I could have left.. He wasn't paying my tuition, so I could technically have done what I wanted.  But I felt so responsible, and had such a desire to please my family, that I stayed.  (For the record, I'm glad I did.)  

I am amazed that my younger brothers don't feel the same sense of responsibility.  (And truthfully, I'm a little bit jealous.)  I wish I didn't care about pleasing people.  Jason picks on me all the time for caring so much what others think.  

I guess the point of this is that one shouldn't judge someone else for making a decision differently than how you would have, even if in your heart of hearts it still doesn't make sense to you.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Two Tuesday

Top Two Things I Collect

1. Broken hearts.  Ha!  Kidding.  #1 is really coffee mugs.  I think I started this in high school on a Theater Club trip to NYC.  I have my NYC Super Man mug, and since it's my biggest mug I drink from it most mornings.  My other favorites are the huge sailor's mug Jason bought me at The Whaler's Inn in Mystic, CT.  It was where we stayed our first Valentine's Day together.  The Cutie Pi mug is one that Jason bought me on a random visit to MIT.  And the Cafe Du Monde mug I bought the morning after my Bachelorette party on my last trip to NOLA.  A little birdie told me that he picked up a little something for me in Australia that will be feeding my habit, so I have a feeling another coffee mug is headed my way!

#2 - Random stuff from around the world.  What can I say?  I married a Submarine Sailor.  You know what they say, "Join the Navy, see the world."  Well he has, and he's brought me little things from every country he's been in.  What you see here are some of those things.  The hairbrush and fan came from Singapore, the kimono is from South Korea, the bowls are from Japan, the sake set is from Thailand.  I also have a set of chopsticks somewhere, but I can't find them.  The same little birdie mentioned above is also bringing home a hand-painted boomerang from Australia, along with some other stuff.  Our house will be a huge hodge-podge of other cultures one day, and I can't wait!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sticker shock

Jason bought me my first BMW when I first got to Guam.  I loved this beauty.  She was a 1993 7.40 IL.  Gold, tan leather interior, sunroof.  She was old as all get-out and I loved her.  Mainly because she was the only one on Guam, and there wasn't really anything I could do to break a 26 year old car.

The only thing we ever did to Betty in the 2 years we had her was a few oil changes.  Oh, and replace the battery, but I left her sitting without starting her for 3 months, so that was understood.  She was great!  She only had something like 55,000 miles when we had to let her go.  We actually sold her for $500 more than we paid for her because she was still in such great shape.

So then we got to Hawaii last year and we needed a car.  During our car shopping we came across a 2003 BMW 3.25i that was in our price range.  We both figured that we could buy an 07ish Nissan or similar, or the 03 BMW.  It's older, but they are such great cars, and it still looked really great.  And it only had like, 55,000 miles on it.  Oh!  And the one we had back on Guam was 10 years older and still running perfectly! I had always heard that they are great cars until you have to do maintenance on them or repair them, but was that on my mind that day?  Nope.  We drove it and fell in love. That day we took her back home (to the BOQ..) and we drove her happily for the next 3 months.  Then the boat left the Pearl Harbor dry dock to come back to Guam, so Jason put her in storage.

The day we bought her

For the next 8 months we would both say things like "I can't wait to get back to our car in Hawaii!"  We really missed her.  So we got here and paid to get her out of storage and were happy to be driving her.  Until today.

I was driving my hot car around yesterday with the windows down and the sunroof open.  It was glorious!  But then I got home and the rear passenger window wouldn't roll up.  It sounded like there was loose gravel in the door.  Boo, car!

Oh well.. She needed an oil change anyway, and the BMW dealership gives you a loaner BMW to drive while your's is being repaired.. So no biggie.  Or so I thought.

I get to the dealership.  Let me just tell you, there is something special about purchasing a car from a "luxury" dealer.  You walk in and you are important.  There is an espresso machine with cardboard go cups with hand-wrappers, not a sad looking coffee pot beside a water cooler.  There are marble counter tops in the ridiculously plush restroom.  (Which, coincidentally, is the place where I threw up the only time during my pregnancy, but that's another story.)  All that to say, I got inside and I felt warm and fuzzy

The service manager is the nicest guy ever!  He played with KB, got me an espresso, made me feel good.  Then he gave me the damage.  Will The BWM Service Guy is no longer on my list of favorite people.  He says, "Ok Mrs. Frederick, I'm going to give you a 'shopping list', if you will, of the damage.  You can pick and choose what you'd like to do today."

First was the window repair: $750!  WHAT?!  Wow, that sucks, but ok.. Give me the rest.  He then proceeds to inform me that it's time for the 60,000 mile scheduled maintenance.  I don't even remember what all he told me about, but what sticks out most is that the HEPPA filter needs to be replaced.  (WHAT?!  My car has a HEPPA filter?!  WHY???)  Oh, and the other thing that sticks in my mind is that this SCHEDULED regular maintenance is going to be $4,000.

An old favorite song of mine quips "Getting the oil changed in the BMW is my baby's biggest fear."  Holy crap, now I see why!!  (And 10 bonus points for the first person who did NOT go to Ole Miss, but can recite the next line of that song.)  So, we are back to that thing where the maintenance on imported cars is absolutely awful.  Whatever.. I'm over it.
Driving my super hot car is not even worth all that to me.  Seriously, at this point I'm considering trading her in on a Ford.  Ok.. not really a Ford, but something considerably more reasonable.  I'm actually thinking about this one.  It's a 2011 Hyundai Sonata and it gets really great reviews.  And there isn't a single word about how expensive it is to maintain.

Getting To Know Me

1. what's something you've eaten and liked, but didn't think you would?
Fish.. Any kind, ever.

2. plastic surgery..yea or nay?
Considering I fully plan on getting my knockers fixed after I'm done having babies.. Yea.

3. 2 things you love about spring are.....?
Well, the weather, obviously, and the feeling.  You know, that all things are new and wonderful feeling.

4. when's the last time you went on a picnic?
Last Summer, I believe.

5. what's your favorite app?
Besides Facebook, probably Words with Friends.

6. who does the grocery shopping in your house?
Me. We go together occasionally.

7. would you rather take a spin class or Zumba?
I like them both.  I don't get sore after Zumba, though.

8. how often do you go out to dinner?
When Jason is home, I'd say once a week on average.  When Jason is not home, it's a rare occasion.  Going tonight, though :)
Friday, April 15, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

1. With PCS moves happening every few years, do you take the time to paint and decorate your home? submitted by Life as Mrs. JPT

We didn't in our first house.  I think we both knew that he would be gone a lot and it wouldn't really be "home" to either of us.  We won't in this house simply because we'll be here under 1 year.  We'll only be in our next house for 2 years, and we will likely have 2 little ones to worry with, so again, probably not.  The sea-duty after that one is the long one (Dept. Head tour), so we may paint there.

2. If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be? submitted by Standing By Him

I have two answers here:  If I was still single, I'd choose Meredith's house from Grey's Anatomy.  The house is gorgeous and homey, but it has all of these fun single people living in it.  And there are some pretty sexy boys running around.  But like I said, that's if I was single.
Since I now have a family, I choose the Phil and Claire Dunphy's house from Modern Family.  It's bright and airy and perfect for a family.

3. What inspired you to start your blog?  submitted by Pink Combat Boots

I've always been a writer.  I actually still have the two diaries I filled up from the time I was 12 until 14.  I guess I started blogging on my MySpace account, but I didn't write regularly.  I started my first real blog in the Summer of 08, but I actually don't even know where to find it.  I was writing about some things that were really hurting me at the time, and I didn't want anyone to read it so I wrote under complete anonymity.  Then I married Jason and my life changed drastically with moving to Guam, so I started a blog about that.  I didn't keep up with it well after I got pregnant and lazy..  So then this one came about when we were getting closer to actually becoming a family instead of just a couple.  

4. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on base? submitted by Adventures in Life

I was at the stoplight beside McDonald's on Big Navy (Naval Base Guam), when I looked over into a grassy area near the NEX.  There was a family of wild hogs just hanging out under a tree!  I tried so hard to get a picture, but the light changed before I got my camera out.

5. Which historical figure (politician, writer, artist, scientist, actor, etc…) would you like to have dinner with?  submitted by Army of Two

I don't really know anymore.  I used to be obsessed with Coco Chanel, so she would be a viable option.  She completely transformed women's fashion.  I mean, she invented the little black dress, for crying out loud!
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Holy crap, I just had a revelation!

I've written before about how I'm a defiant eater.  As ridiculous as this sounds, I am even defiant toward myself. I'll get on a good streak of eating healthy, and then I'll think "Wait a minute.. I haven't eaten something terrible for me in 3 days!  I can do it if I want to, by golly!"  So, inevitably I do.  I run through a drive through or order a pizza or something of that nature.  I don't know why I do that, except for the fact that I just like bad-for-me food.  I seriously LOVE fried food.  (I'm Southern, for goodness sake!  I can fry anything, AND make it taste good!)  But it never fails that two things happen when I let my defiant nature take over:  #1, I feel guilty, guilty, guilty, and #2, I think "What's the point?"

So after two good days, I started in on myself today.  I think a huge part of today's problem is that I didn't get but 4 hours of sleep last night, so I'm already tired and cranky.  We left for our run anyway, but then it started raining.  Not to be deterred, I headed for the club house instead.  I thought maybe, just maybe, Katie Beth would play on the carpet and let me hit up the elliptical.  Yeah, that lasted a whole 3 minutes.  So, back out we went.  It had stopped raining, yay!  But then, out of nowhere, I have a fussy baby.  We managed 2 miles in 40 minutes.  I got a decent sweat in, but nothing close to what my body needs to get a good burn.  Super sigh.

Once I got KB down for a nap, I got in the shower.  I immediately started thinking about what I could have for lunch.  I was thinking about driving out to Babies R Us to pick up a high chair for KB.  Hmm.. what's on my way?  There's a Wendy's out there, an Arby's in the mall.. All this delicious, terrible food.  Then it hit me!  This revelation, which is I swear, straight from God.  (No, thank you, God does not have anything better to deal with at this exact moment than my bad habits.)  What would I gain from eating badly?  Would a greasy cheeseburger really make me feel any better than the salad in my refrigerator?  No it wouldn't, and I would gain absolutely nothing.  I would also lose nothing, such poundage I want gone from my gut.  Eating healthily for one more meal, however, WOULD make me feel better.  I'd be proud of myself for jumping the hurdle.  

It's crazy to think how I've just made excuses so often over the past years.  Why didn't someone put this into my head before?  To be honest, someone probably tried to explain this and Defiant Emily probably glared at him or her with death-ray eyes while she took a huge bite of fried chicken.  With honey mustard.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesdays

1. Have you ever fainted?

2. What is your favorite casino game?
Penny slots.  Gambling makes me nervous.. really nervous.  As in, sick to my stomach at the thought of throwing money away on nothing..  So the only game I ever play is penny slots.

3. Do you have a good sense of direction?
Umm.. it's not terrible, but it's not great, either.

4. Laptop or desktop?

5. What is your go to hairstyle when having a bad hair day?
Oh this is sad, but how about on any day?  My hair goes into a pony tail most days.. for most OF the day.

6. Do you read the newspaper on a daily basis?
Only on Sundays.

7. Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?
Hmm..  I like a lot of them.  I like the Neelys' recipes, but I hate they way they talk and act on camera.  Paula Deen is just too much.  Rachel Ray is alright.  Giada needs the cleavage cover up they sell on tv.  Ina is too advanced for my personal tastes..

8. What tv show would you like to make a guest appearance on?

9. Do you have satellite radio in your car?
Nope.  It's never seemed worth it to me.

10. What was the last movie that made you cry?
Cinderella :)  Old school Disney will get me every time!
Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting To Know Me

1. Do you watch/read the news?
I do both, but I watch more than read.  I turn on the news first thing, which is just in time for Good Morning America.  Then I watch the 5 and 6 pm local news as well as the 5:30 pm national news.  Old habits die hard.. Thanks, Mammaw and Pappaw.

2. How would you describe your look?
Comfortable and practical (tshirts and runner shorts) on days when I stay in, summer casual (tops, shorts, dresses, flipflops) when I leave the house.

3. Did you play sports in high school or college?
Nah, only intramural soccer.

4. Would you rather give up lipstick/gloss or high heels?
Easy - heels.  I could wear flops forever more if I needed to, but I MUST to have something on my lips.

5. What is your favorite show to watch on tv?

6. Would you rather bake or cook?
Cook.  I have actually only really baked twice.. that is to say, made things from a recipe and not a box.  But I throw my own savory concoctions together all the time, and they are almost always tasty.  

7. Shorts or skirts?

8. What is your favorite scary movie?
I don't have one.  I don't like scary movies at all.  I'm positive I haven't seen one in the theater since 2007.
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thank you, friends!

I'm always aware that I have fantastic friends, but my last blog post proved it.  The outpouring of support that I received from y'all made me feel so much better.  Many of you had the same thing to say: "No, KB may not experience the same things you did growing up, but she will have other amazing experiences!"  I guess I never really let that sink in before now.  I've thought about it a few times, like when she got her passport at 3 months old.  That was crazy to me!  I didn't have a passport until I was 22!

But everybody is right.. She'll have amazing experiences that I've never really considered.  Going to spend the week with grandparents will be a fun trip, not an everyday thing.  And maybe going to Florence will be like a trip to the country.  Haha.. That makes me laugh.  I mean, Florence is country and all, but.. well, never mind.  It's hard to explain.

So, while I'm talking about Florence, here's another thing that's been on my mind a lot lately.  I am feeling so nostalgic!  I don't know why, but pretty much everything I see or hear reminds me of one person or another from my past.  I'm talking random people, too.  Like the roommate I had (and haven't seen since) my Sophomore year.  I would still consider her a friend, though we talk very rarely, but I don't think about her all the time or anything.  And the boy I had a crush on in 9th grade?  Wonder what he's up to now?  Well, I don't wonder much.. there is Facebook after all.  It's just weird how I'm thinking so much about my past when I am so very happy with my present.  Maybe it's just that time of year or something..
Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's on my heart right now

This is something I've really been struggling with for the past few weeks, so I want to ask for advice from my friends.  I am lucky enough to have friends all over the world who can help me understand or at least come to terms with this situation.

I am really struggling with the fact that KB's grandparents and great-grandparents can't be a part of her every-day life.  Coming from a background where I spent a significant amount of time with my grandparents, this is especially hard.  I love the feeling of a full heart that I get when I'm with my whole family.  It truly makes me sad that she won't know that feeling, at least not in the way that I do.

Now, don't get me wrong, we are very happy here.  I'm not sitting around crying because I'm homesick. I've done it before for sure, but this feeling is totally different.  And to be honest, both sides of our family are very good about not complaining too much.  They do complain that they are missing her, but I think it's fairly reasonable.  I miss them being around for the little things, too.

I think a big part of what is making this harder right now is that my family is throwing a birthday party for my 94 year old great-grandmother on Saturday.  She's never met KB because I was wary of taking an infant into a nursing home.  But now all I can think about is how much I want to be there with them this weekend.

Today was a huge growing day for me.  I really want to come home, but after a lot of thought, I've decided not to.  I don't want to become accustomed to running home whenever things get a little tough.  That's not me. I'm stronger than that. But this feeling is totally beyond me.  Like I said, I am very happy here; happier, in fact, than I ever was in Guam, so why can't I get this off my mind?

So how do I deal with my family issue?  How do I make it ok that KB will not likely ever experience whole-family Sunday dinners on a regular basis?  She won't have her spot at the dinner table, or know exactly what her grandmother's house smells like first thing on Summer mornings, when all she wants to do is sleep because her cousin kept her awake all night talking about boys. ("But you must get up at a reasonable hour, dear, or your whole sleep schedule will be off when you go back to school", she would say with a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.  To this day, smelling cigarettes first thing in the morning is very comforting to me.  Weird, huh?)  I so want my little girl to be close with her extended family, and not just via Skype and emails.  I want her cousin Shelby to be like her big sister. I want her aunt and uncles to be the coolest people around because they check her out of school to go to the zoo.  This is really hard for me right now, so any encouragement or advice would be appreciated.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesdays

{one} what is one food that, as an adult you love, but as a child you said you’d never touch?
I was allergic to all seafood as a kid.  My parents couldn't even feed me fries if they had been fried in the same oil as any fish.  I finally grew out of it, but fish is an acquired taste.  I never, ever expected I would love tuna as much as I do now.. much less sashimi style!

{two} did you go to college? if yes, what was your major?
I did go to college - Ole Miss class of 2007 - I majored in Psychology with a minor in Sociology.  Know what that degree is worth now?  Surely not as much as the frame in which it sits in my office.

{three} what’s the most wild animal you’ve seen in real life (not counting the zoo)?
A carabou!  A carabou is the Guam version of a water buffalo.  I also randomly saw a bunch of wild hogs on Guam.  They were running around on base, and the thought of them running through my yard at night scared the crap out of me.

{four} have you ever been to a fortune teller?
Of sorts.  I've been to a Tarot card reader in New Orleans.  He told me a lot about myself that was all pretty true.  Like how I "should" be working toward a higher degree than a BA, but I wasn't, so why wasn't I?  And about how I tend to mother my friends, which is very true.  He also told me that I was going to marry a man that was older than me and whom I loved because he provided me with an amazing sense of security.  I wouldn't just love him for that reason, but it would play a big part in our relationship.  He also told me that the man would have slight health problems.  He actually said the words "it might be allergies, or ADD, but you will mother him, too."  Whoa.  So creepy.  Except he also told me that I wouldn't have children with my husband.  I would have a child before I ever met and married my husband.  Oh well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.
{five} can you juggle?
Not even a little bit.

{six} hardwood floors or carpet?
Hardwood, any day of the week.  Carpet is more work, and have you ever cleaned under one?  Gross.

{seven} is it called “soda” or “pop”?
Soda, unless I'm at home in Mississippi.  Then it's just a Coke.  They're all just Cokes.

{eight} what was your first car?
A 1991 Honda Prelude.  My God, I loved that car.  She was bright red with a sunroof and a stock CD player.  Do you know how bad-ass a car had to have been to come with a stock CD player in 1991??  She had 140 on the dash, but I only ever got her up to 100.  Dad put 3 motors and 2 transmissions in her before we gave up on her.  The Little Red Rocket, may she rest in peace.

{nine} what is the most decadent dessert you've ever eaten?
This chocolate mousse that Jason and I ordered at the Daniel Packer Inne in Mystic, CT.  It was our first Valentine's Day together, and we both still talk about that chocolate mousse.

{ten} how often do you rearrange your furniture?
Rarely.  I'm not one of those people who needs a change every few months.  (Have you met my little brother?  Ask HIM this question..)  I re-arranged our living room once in the two years we were in Guam, and our bedroom once also.  I like things the way they are, mostly.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Alpha to Zulu, Submarine Style

I've seen this one a few times now, and so it's my turn.  I'm getting this one specifically from The Thrifty Military Wife - Check her out!.  Mine will definitely be specific to my life, so there will be Submariner lingo in here.  Feel free to read and learn, and probably laugh at those silly Bubblehead boys.

Adjustment - I think a lot of people don't realize that day to day life is simply different for a military spouse.  Yes, many things are the same.  Many of us still hold jobs and take care of the house at the same time.  We go to church, we have dinner with friends, we walk the dog.  What is different is that our lives are so much more likely to change over the course of a year than a "normal" person.  Every new phase is a huge adjustment.

Boat - A submarine is not a ship, my friends, it is a boat.  Jason explained it as "Ships have sails". I don't know how accurate of an explanation that is, but whatever.  Not that most Submariners would actually say anything when you ask "What ship are you on?", but mentally, they are correcting you.

Bubblehead - Slang term for Submariner.  I'm not positive on this, but I'm pretty sure only other military members are allowed to use the slang.  If you are a civilian, please don't refer to a Submariner as a Bubble Head; You might get punched.

CO (Commanding Officer) and Captain - The Navy gets confusing.  In the Navy, Captain is the rank of O6, which is the same as Full Colonel in the Army or Air Force.  Captain is also what a Commanding Officer is referred to as when he is the CO of any sea-faring vessel, regardless of his rank.  So, our CO's rank is actually Commander (O5), but he IS the Captain.  Confusing?  Yes.

City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) - This is the Los Angeles Class Fast Attack submarine to which Jason is attached, and will be until 2012.  

Daughters - It's common lore among the Sub force that Submariners produce daughters more often than they produce sons.  In fact, in our command the ratio falls pretty heavily on the side of girls verses boys among the children.  I've heard that it's because of the radiation a Submariner receives underway.  I've also heard it's because of the stress.  Either is probably a viable answer, in my opinion.

Ensign - This is the lowest rank for an officer, at O1.  It's what his/her rank is when he/she first leaves Officer Candidate School.  An officer remains an Ensign for 24 months after graduating from OCS, at which time he/she is eligible for a promotion.

Friends/Family - Those words could be interchangeable for any military spouse.  When you live thousands of miles away from your biological family, your friends become your family.  They watch your baby so you can run an errand.  They come over and help fix your drier because your husband is deployed and can't do it.  They lend you a car because you've had to ship yours to Hawaii since you are moving there next month.  One of the coolest things about military spouses is that they can become your new best friend so quickly.  I've seen women go from "Hi, my name is _____ and I'm new to the command." to "Hey, can you come pick me up from the airport?" in a matter of a week.  Where else have you ever met someone and become good friends so quickly?

Go Navy! - I use this one a lot.  It's supposed to be in reference to the Naval Academy, and  usually in the context of a football game against West Point.  I use this it when I'm aggravated by the Navy, so it's usually dripping with sarcasm.

Horse and Cow- Famous among the Sub force, the Horse and Cow is the submariner bar.  There are at least three that I know of; Guam, Bremerton (Washington) and San Diego.  Want to hear the Submarine Song?  (because I'm sure not posting the lyrics...)  Visit a Horse and Cow!

Irresistible - A Sailor in his whites.  'Nough said.

JO - Junior Officer - Officers are divided into Junior and Senior, as are enlisted personnel.  Junior Officers are the Division Officers, and Senior Officers are never called that.  On board a submarine, the senior officers are Department Heads (Engineering Department, Navigation Department, Weapons Department), the XO (Executive Officer) and CO.  

Khakis - the term used to describe senior enlisted or officers, because they wear khaki colored uniforms.  The Navy is slowly moving away from khakis to the digital blue camouflage uniforms, and I'm glad.  Though while in the blue camo uniform, officers and senior enlisted (Chiefs) still wear khaki belts to distinguish.

Lieutenant Junior Grade/Lieutenant - The ranks of O2 and O3.  As usual, then Navy is different from other branches in this way.

Leave - A military member's vacation time, known in the Sub force as a once yearly occurrence.  Not really, I guess, but it sure seems that way.  I once heard the Base CO in Guam say, "I want all of my Sailors to be able to take their leave.  They earn it, they should be able to use it."  When he said that, a bunch of Sub Ombudsmen started to giggle.  The CO realized who it was laughing and said, "Yeah, I can't even touch the Sub force.. Sorry."     

MA - Master at Arms, otherwise known as the Navy police.  So for future reference, the police at the gate of a Naval base aren't MP's, they are MA's.

Nuke - A Sub or Surface crewmember that works with and can be in charge of the nuclear reactor.  Being a Nuke means you went to school for an additional year after Boot Camp or Officer Candidate School.  No doubt, Nukes are smart.  My husband is one of the smartest guys I've ever met in my life.  Nukes also tend to be extremely nerdy, video game playing, socially awkward freaks.  But we love them anyway :)


Ombudsman - The Navy and Coast Guard have this wonderful program for families called the Ombudsman Program.  Ombudsmen are volunteer liaisons between the families and the command.  Especially when the boat is out to sea, the Ombudsman's job is to help family members receive information.  The Ombudsman relays information such as port calls and homecomings, as well as helpful information such as who you need to talk to when your husband's pay is screwed up.  I am one of the Ombudsmen for our command, and I really enjoy the position.

OPSEC - Operational Security - This refers to the rule that basically covers everything from why Jason can't tell me where the boat was or what it did during mission, to why I can't tell you when the boat will pull into port.  So when you ask "When will he be home?", OPSEC is the reason I can't really say.

PCS - Permanent Change of Station, or a military move.  When a military member has been given orders to a new command (usually between every two and three years), the PCS begins.  It encompasses everything from having movers come pack your belongings to another set of movers unpacking for you at the new location.  

Poopy Suit - The blue coveralls that Sailors usually wear while they're out to sea.  They basically look like a Navy blue flight suit with a belt.  They can't be worn away from the pier, and since the Navy has introduced the blue digital camo, they can't be worn off the boat at all.

Quitting Time - The set, scheduled time of day when a Submariner gets to leave the boat and go home to his loving family.  Just kidding.  There is absolutely no such thing on a Submarine.  I see all this traffic on base every day between 1530 and 1630, and it baffles me.

Rumors - HOLY MOLY!!  I've never been in such a rumor-filled environment in my entire life.  You'd be amazed at how quickly a rumor can start and run rampant.  I've heard some that have scared me, and I've heard some that made me immediately roll my eyes.  They usually involve the boat schedule, but occasionally there are some pretty juicy stories of how wives spend their time away from their husbands.  I tend to ignore both varieties.  People have too much time on their hands, in my opinion.

Seabag - The huge green canvas bag(s) that a Sailor takes with him to sea.  In my house they are the forebearers of despair because they only come out of the closet right before deployment.  They are also a little bit like Mary Poppin's bag, in that they can hold anything.  Seriously, they are constructed to hold up to 150 pounds.

Shore Duty - The mythical place Sailors go when they aren't attached to a sea command.

TLD - Thermo Luminescent Dosimeter - Worn by Nukes on their belt to determine how much radiation they receive in any given amount of time.  

Underway - The general term used to describe when the boat is actually moving.  It could be a deployment (also called a mission), training, or moving from one port to another.  So if the boat has moved from any port, it is officially underway.

Veterans - Both Jason and I come from military families.  Both our fathers are veterans; his Navy, mine Air Force.  Both of my grandfathers are veterans; one Army and one Air Force.  

Wardroom - Officer's mess, or dining room, also used to collectively refer to the officers in a command.  There are Wardroom functions and gatherings.  I also use the term to describe officer's wives.  For instance, "We only have three JO wives in the Wardroom right now, and only one Department Head wife.  In total, there are only four Wardroom wives in Hawaii."  For an officer's wife, the Wardroom can really be her family.  I am really excited about the ladies who are joining us since we have lost a few over the past few months!

XO - Executive Officer, second in command under the Commanding Officer.

Yellow Ribbons - I don't think this one needs explanation.

Zero-dark-thirty - The time of day a Submariner typically has to be on board the boat for start up duty.  Start up is literally starting the nuclear reactor, and must happen before a boat can go underway.

Grab my button...

The Sub Wife Life