Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Fun

My youngest sister just turned 10. Tonight I surprised her with concert tickets to see her favorite singer, Demi Lovato. Yes, I spent my Friday night with thousands of screaming pre-teen girls, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was waving my cell phone to the music along with everyone else. Being the oldest of four sisters, and 13 years apart from the youngest, I naturally spoil her rotten. Not only did I let her talk me into taking her to dunkin donuts for dinner, I also dropped $35 on a Demi Lovato t-shirt, bought glow sticks, concession stand food, a bottle of water for $4.50 and would have purchased some cotton candy had I not run out of cash. I'd say it was a pretty good night.

On another note, my hubby called me on Skype last night. I fell asleep with my computer by my bed and woke to the Skype ring around 1 a.m. I was happy to hear from him, but it was harder to say good-bye and fall back to sleep with a call in the middle of the night. It's been quite an adjustment sleeping alone since he left and I think late night calls and video chats make it a bit worse for some reason. Maybe it's just me. I prefer daytime communication because I feel less vulnerable to my emotions, I think. He was able to call me this afternoon as well, which was wonderful! He finally made it to his final destination, so he'll be able to settle in and start a somewhat normal routine.

A big concern and struggle for spouses during deployments seems to be having fulfilling conversations on the phone. Any way you slice it, a call from my husband recharges my batteries. Whether or not we have much to talk about, just hearing his voice fills me with joy for the rest of the day. However, I've heard from other spouses and experienced during our long-distance dating, that it's sometimes easy to run out of things to say. This is especially the case when the deployed spouse can't talk about his mission or work overseas. Also, the pressure of knowing you only have a few minutes on the phone with your man can make it harder to remember what you want to say. I'm hoping to avoid falling into these ruts with a few pre-meditated plans for successful communication.

1. Write down stuff throughout the day to tell my husband. Every time something funny happens, or something reminds me of him, or I have a random question for him, I try to write it down. I like to take notes on my i-phone since I always have it with me.

2. Come up with alternatives to the boring convos. Before he left, we started reading a series of books together. We are in the middle of this series now. We're reading at the same pace and discussing the books when we talk/email. This provides a great subject matter for conversations. Also, I'm planning on finding some good websites/books with random, fun facts and jokes. My husband loves this kind of stuff. So finding a hobby or interest of your husband's to take part in somehow and integrate into conversations can be helpful. I think everyone likes a good joke now and then. I know that when he calls he wants to feel a brief escape from reality and a breath of fresh air from his love back home. I'm going to try to provide this creatively.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Communication Woes

My hubby is stuck somewhere on his way to his final destination in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this means no phones, so I haven't talked to him since he was in the states. He emailed me last night to let me know what's going on. I realize there will be times during the deployment when he won't be able to call me for a few days, but today was especially frustrating. He told me in the email to stick close to the computer if possible today since he won't be able to call. While helping my mom pack up the kitchen most of the afternoon, I had my computer open and logged onto Gmail and Skype just in case. Sure enough, he tried to contact me during the 15 minutes that I left the room to take a shower. Oh well. He left a very nice message.

I think that will be one of the most frustrating aspects of communication over the next couple of months. I hate the fact that I can't call him when I want to hear his voice, and that there will be times when I'll miss his calls or attempts to contact me. I get so mad at myself when this happens, but can I really expect to be 100% available every minute of the day? Other than keeping my phone ringer on extra loud and keeping Skype on when I'm around the house, I can't spend every waking moment waiting. This is something that I'll get used to over time, I'm sure.

My mom has a cute spice cabinet in her kitchen with a chalkboard on it. Today it reads, "The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude." I love that. I make a conscious effort to rise each day remembering that it's up to me whether or not it will be a good one. Even when the love of my life is halfway across the world in this war, I continue to thank God for his abundant blessings in our lives and marriage. Circumstances could always be so much worse and I am grateful - even during the difficult times. We are healthy, happy and in love. And very soon we'll be in each other's arms again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


More than ever, I'm thankful for friends. They've provided just the right amount of distraction and encouragement to make these first two days wonderful. I spent yesterday bouncing from one friend's house to another as my phone rang off the hook with invitations to hang out. The love and support is amazing.

My first night alone in our house was smooth as well. My evening friends kept me company through the quiet stillness of the night. They are always happy to comfort me at night when my bed seems too big for just one person. (See picture of my friends below...)

My morning pilates class was rejuvenating and the beach was gorgeous this afternoon. I didn't even feel guilty about postponing my plan to clean the house today. I'm looking forward to tonight's dinner out with the girls, and tomorrow morning I'm heading home for a few days. I've lived in Florida my whole life, but my family is in the process of moving to Nashville. I'll be helping them with this process over the next couple of weeks. I will miss my childhood home, but look forward to new beginnings for my parents and younger sisters.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Off he goes into the wild blue yonder...

Day 1 of the first deployment.

I surprised myself today. No tears as we pulled apart from our embrace and I drove away. No emotional breakdown as I came home to our quiet house alone. No fake responses to the friends and family calling to see how I'm feeling. I feel fine. This day is surreal because I've played it out in my head many times before. Everything seems a bit fuzzy and in slow motion. But I'm ready for this. The challenge of this new adventure is intriguing to me. I see it as an opportunity. I love my husband more than I ever thought possible. Next to God, he is everything to me. I want to be the support that he needs as we grow stronger through this experience.

My pilot will be deployed for 2 months, home for 3 months, deployed for 2 months, and so on. This rotation will remain steady for the next 4 or 5 years. While we won't face extended tours, the frequency of his deployments will be quite a roller coaster, I'm sure. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, though I can't imagine being more in love with this man. I'll let you know!