Monday, December 21, 2009

Spread Some Christmas Cheer

It's my turn because.... One of my vendors sent a bunch of middle school kids to my office and they all sang Christmas carols to me this morning! I thought this was a great idea and I will def think of them first when it comes to doing some ordering...That was MUCH better than a Christmas card! Yesterday I was doing some grocery shopping and ran into a co-worker's wife. I had told her that I had found everything I needed except cans of pumpkin for my pies. This morning she sent 2 cans of pumpkin with her husband from her own pantry to give to me! Soooo thoughtful:) I'll be passing on Christmas cheer in my very near future. In the meantime, here are some cheerful pictures of our Christmas decor at the house.

Our table set for Christmas yummies:)

The Christmas theme for our house was much different this year. I took on a less formal and more fun approach and I'm very happy with the results.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hey

I questioned how I should title this blog. I know it's been a while since my last post. Since my last post, Lee and I have been running circles around each other. As you know, he is back. He got back on a Tuesday and we found out that Saturday morning that his dad has Stage 4 Cancer. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. His dad is a stubborn guy with a lot of heart so he's reacting very well to his radiation! We're all cheering him on and counting our blessings each day. Lee had his first drill since being back this past weekend. Nothing much to report about that. He got his Inner State Transfer(IST) complete so he didn't have to go out of state for the drill. It'll be nice to save the extra money from each drill rather than putting it towards his plane ticket every month. Other than that, we are simply enjoying one another and taking one day at a time:)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Few Airborne Pictures

This is right after I pinned his wings!

Airborne

That weekend was nuts. Lee had to get 5 jumps in to graduate on time. The weather wasn’t in our favor so he had to get 3 jumps in as of Thursday before graduation. On Thursday they only completed 2 when they were authorized for 3 but the Commander didn’t want to jump into the night so he pushed it the Friday of graduation. That was a bad decision. Friday morning the plane’s engine blew and they didn’t have a backup. They told the families that they were pushing graduation to Friday evening and they would start jumping as soon a plane arrived from Alabama. In the meantime I rescheduled my flight home for Saturday morning. That cost me $130 in fees. I even paid for flight insurance but realized that was a waste....but that’s another story in itself. After I got checked back into my hotel, my rental extension, new flight and arrangements for Cooper to be picked up from his puppy resort…the Commander comes back out and says that they aren’t going to be able to get a plane until Monday. Crikey! They then made the soldiers do dumb detail around base all while I totally stalked them. I made fast friends with other families and we all stressed about the coming week. Luckily, my boss was SUPER cool and didn’t even want the details. He just said to do what I needed to do and we’d figure it all out when I got back. I waited for Lee to be released for the weekend before I made anymore revisions to my travel plans. He has a way of making things work. I gave him all my contact info with the airlines and Orbitz to see if he could maneuver something I couldn’t. They wanted to charge me another $130 in fees to change my flight and $500 extra for the balance for the flight I needed! Lee dealt with the same cooperate nobodies and even had one suggest he get an official document from his Commander notarized, a name and number to someone she could speak to, etc…this was laughable. She obviously had no idea how ridiculous that sounded. Getting the military to whip something up real quick is impossible, especially on the weekend. We finally went to the airport and dealt with someone directly. Lee let the guy behind the counter believe that he needed HIS itinerary adjusted and the guy simply handed him a new itinerary. Just like that! So….we had a great weekend. I returned him to formation Sunday night. Monday morning I was back to the airfield waiting for the jumps to start at 9am. Commander came out and said that they are still waiting for the plane to arrive. At 10:30 he came out to tell us it should be there around noon. I didn’t go get something to eat because I didn’t want to lose my parking space. Haha Noon rolls around and he comes back out and says that it’ll prob be 2pm. At 1:30 I saw the plane fly pass me and we all started clapping. They started jumping at 3pm and it was incredible. Absolutely amazing. 30 guys one by one jump out of the plane and in a straight line they are falling from the sky with their parachutes catching their fall in less than 4 seconds. The Commander begins to update us that graduation will be at 5pm. Note: My flight is at 6:35pm. I would be cutting it close but I thought I could make it. I was a videotaping and picture taking fool. I got a text from an unknown number telling me to walk towards the road. I knew it was Lee sneaking the message from some phone. Then I saw him! I felt this unbelievable rush of pride to be able to be there for him. We couldn’t get too close but he wanted to get close enough to make sure that I wasn’t going to leave before graduation. Silly boy. There’s no way I’d miss that. So I missed my flight. Again. Graduation was around 8pm and it was by moonlight. Mosquitoes were the size of a small bird and I had a migraine the size of China. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, being in the sun all day and stressing about missing another day of work wasn’t helping me out any. After graduation, I waited 2 hours for Lee to hang his parachute and be released for the evening. We drove back to Columbus. I check into my hotel for the 3rd time that weekend. I took a hot shower and woke him up at 2:45 to drive him back to base for his 3:30am briefing. I drove back to my hotel and I was just about to fall asleep when he called at 4:58am to tell me to pick him up because he got us 6am flights. I rushed to base and then we rushed back to Columbus airport(the same exit as our hotel) and missed that flight. Eventually, we made it home. Believe it or not, this is the nutshell version of this story.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Superman

It's a plane! A bird...no it's Lee! Lee is currently doing his Airborne training. He has to have 5 successful jumps out of the plane to graduate. He told me to pray for good weather and soft landings. Ha! Supposedly he's coming home Friday but we won't be able to confirm anything until he's given his itinerary. He did get orders that release him "on or around the 30th." Not very clear, huh? I hope he gets to come home Friday. I went ahead and booked my flight home Friday because I'd rather come home early than late. If he came home and I was stuck in a hotel one night longer than him I'd pout. Ha!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Another Soapbox

I strongly believe President Obama has a lot more demanding tasks to headline his day than to complete his promise regarding “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Also, referring to him disrespectfully as “Obama” isn’t going to lend you his ear no matter how talented I know you are. Promise to keep our troops safe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Person

I saw Lee in person. O how I love Columbus Day. We had a great weekend together. It was the fastest last minute purchase ever. Lee called me on his way to the ATL airport in the cab on Friday night. Once there, he hurried into the airport to locate a flight home asap. He called me as he was boarding the plane seconds later. He said he bought the first thing he saw available because he didn't have time to think about it as the plane was boarding while he was purchasing his airfare. If that was the only flight headed to Oklahoma that night, he wanted to be on it! Can you believe he hadn't been home since June 4th?!?! While boarding, he calls to tell me he is getting on a plane headed for the Tulsa airport and to be there around 11:30. That's all I knew when I grabbed Cooper and the keys. We took off for Tulsa about 9:30pm and got to Tulsa just as Lee was landing. We got back to Norman ~2am. All in all it was a great weekend. We didn't do a whole lot but that's what I loved about it. He got to see our friends and his brother, David came to see him too. It was a nice, relaxing weekend. I made a very yummy taco soup with a recipe that I had been wanting to test on him and baked my Mexican cornbread favorite. I love that stuff. I could eat it like cake. Sunday morning we had biscuits, scrambled eggs and sausage gravy. I think he missed that...he ate a lot of it. He's traveling back today. I will hear from him later and hope to gets his graduation dates secured so I can book MY travel!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cooper

Cooper keeps me company while Lee is away so it's only fitting that I celebrate his special day.

I'd really like to surprise Lee and pick him up on base when he gets off on Friday or surprise him with a ticket home. Airfare is not in my favor. I'm trying to be patient since I'll be seeing him at the end of October...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bzzzz

I've been a very busy bee. Work has been a tornado of events lately. Fortunately, the week is coming to an end. I've been able to talk to Lee at night. You know this makes me happy! Currently, he is in Airborne holding. He will be transferred to the school across base on Thursday of next week. He gets a pass on the weekends; he gets to leave base and do whatever he wants. I encouraged him to get a rental and go stay at a hotel to relax. He's excited to sleep and eat. It was hard for him to go back to the uniform way of living after having such a great weekend after graduation. I'm looking forward to him getting to Airborne so I can get graduation dates! I can then start my next countdown to see him:)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Graduation Weekend

So this weekend was fabulously exhausting. Lee almost didn’t get to march the field for graduation because his DS wanted him to take the last portion of his Airborne physical. He would still graduate but not march. I thought that was ridiculous because we had come all the way to see him do that. There’s much more to it but too much to type. In a nutshell, his 1st Sgt told him to board the bus with the other guys for graduation and everything went on as planned. We got iphones this weekend too! Everyone text Lee your number because he doesn’t have it. I have my contacts but his weren’t saved. This morning Lee called me from breakfast. I asked him if he had his ACUs on for his physical or if he’s in civilian clothes. He sent me a pic of him drinking his coffee in his camo so I wouldn’t have to imagine him sitting there. Awe… We extended the rental car and the hotel room until Tuesday since he is on leave until then. Today he’s going to base to try and take his final portion of his physical so hopefully he won’t be in Airborne Holding too long. We got up insanely early everyday to get good seats to both ceremonies and be on the front row. I didn’t get home until midnight last night so I’m struggling today. I had to drop a co-worker off at the airport at 7:30 this morn and I’ve got a trade show this week too. Is it Friday yet?!?! At least I get to talk to Lee at the end of the day! I'll write more when I'm back to juggling everything on the home front.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

He's a Big Deal

This is it. See you Thursday. I love you. Lee

I've been so busy with work this week that I haven't had time to post this pic that I took of "this week's flowers." I'm leaving for the airport soon and I CANNOT wait! This time tomorrow I will be staring at Lee!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Toast Our Pizza

Tonight I am packing for my trip to go see Lee's Graduation! I leave tomorrow! I am also preparing the video camera for the trip and found this clip. This is the 1st night of Family Weekend when we were able to visit Lee. He wanted to order pizza and we did. We stuffed our faces and stared at him. A bit like you do at the zoo....Jan was camera happy and caught us being "us."
video

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In Bloom

Look how big and beautiful my flowers are today!

Out of the Hospital

Lee is out of the hospital! When I talked to him last, he was waiting for the DS to come pick him up. He is very bummed because his new medical profile has strict limitations on what he can do for a month and ½. . Basically, he has to report to this place we will call “sick call” every week for a checkup and blood tests. Every 2 weeks his limitations will decrease and he will be able to do more. He won’t be able to go onto Airborne School immediately after graduation. Instead, his orders are to sit around and wait for the doctor to release him to full activity. He wants to be able to come home and sit around and wait. His orders are adjustable by the doctor’s discretion. There are a lot of questions in the air right now and we are waiting for him to have a sit-down with his Commander or National Guard liaison to see what his options are. I reiterated that we have a lot to be thankful for right now. His health #1! He gets to graduate and I fly out to see him one week from today. AND this may be a month and ½ less on the countdown that we don’t have to worry about him getting deployed. He will go Airborne eventually but right now he needs to concentrate on feeling better. The doctor says that a lot of stress were put on his kidneys and liver, especially his liver. Hopefully he’ll find out more info soon. To be cont’d…

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Soldier Stand-in

My innovative cousin Brittany found this news report and thought of me. This lady took a picture of her husband and made this! She takes him everywhere while he's stationed in Iraq.

Read More:http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/Wife-Finds-Stiff-Replacement-for-Hubby-in-Iraq-59260992.html?yhp=1

Long Weekend

A lot has happened since my last blog. Lee made it through the week in the field and completed his fourth mile of his twelve mile ruck march to Honor Hill when he collapsed on Friday evening. He suffered a severe case of heat exhaustion. He had a temp of 102 when he blacked out. They did the heat casualty exercise with the ice sheets and took him to the hospital. He had a catheter and an IV before I was notified of what had happened early Saturday morning. His enzyme levels were very high and the doctor wanted to monitor the enzyme trends until they leveled out. The important thing-he is OK. He was worried about this incident pushing his graduation back or being asked to restart. When you restart, the DS can push you back in your training depending on what they feel is appropriate. Fortunately, Lee's DS came to visit him Sunday and confirmed that Lee will not have to redo the march and he will still graduate with his platoon. This is GREAT news and a HUGE relief. Today Lee's 1st Sergeant came to see him. He confirmed that Lee will graduate on time. The 1st Sergeant reiterated that Lee needs to make the doctor aware of his upcoming training so his medical profile will be accurate. He wants the doctor to understand that Lee will not be getting a break from training but he will be going onto multiple training schools after graduation next week. If his condition is going to affect his training then his file needs to read that. Lee is becoming more and more like himself everyday. He has been very week and nauseous all weekend. However yesterday, when I talked to him I rattled on about my day and then asked him how his day was going. He sarcastically said, " Oh I rolled over a couple of times, went to the the bathroom about 80 times and got several new IV bags." I laughed. It is so nice to hear him laugh. Lee's doctor is pleased with his progress and hopes to send him back to his platoon this evening. He really wants his CT to come down??? Lee told me that involved the enzymes surrounding his kidneys.

"I love you. Lee"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wrath of the Army Wife

Tonight at ~9pm Lee will begin his 12 mile ruck march to Honor Hill. He should arrive at Honor Hill at ~3am Saturday morning. They will be rucking through the rain, mud, etc. They will be forced to carry an assortment of things. Boulders and telephone poles are a couple things that have been carried on marches by other platoons. Before Lee's platoon left for the field last weekend the guys were given phone privileges. While the guys go to chow, 2 guys have to stay behind and guard the weapons. The Weapon Guards chosen were specifically told to not talk on their phones while on duty since the others couldn't because they were eating. Well... the Weapon Guards got caught by the DS talking on their phones. Lee had been told that they would be given their phones after they conclude the ruck march on Honor Hill. Since the guys got caught talking on their phone Lee is afraid they may not get their phones right away. If those ignorant morons ruined phone privileges for ME, I just might kick them in the balls at graduation....of course this all happened last weekend and this was the news of my last phone call with Lee before he left for his week in the field. For their ball's sake, let's hope they have already been punished.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Erin Tests the DS

So...I sent a disposable camera to see if I could get it past the DS. Sneaky I know...but I was hoping Lee would be able to keep it and he was! I got it in the mail today and raced to CVS to get the pictures developed in the 1 hr photo option. Very few came back looking decent but there are a few good ones.
Lee said a couple guys weren't getting along so the DS stuck their helmets together all day:)
One day the DS told the guys to take apart their bunks and set them up outside in the same format or they would get smoked if it wasn't done in 30 mins or less. They got smoked. I may have already made a post about that...anyway, here's a visual.
Lee's on the top bunk.
When Lee does field training, this is how he sleeps. This week it's raining. No words.

Short and Sweet

I received 2 letters from Lee. They were written last week. The letters were super short but sweet. He confirmed that he misses and loves me as much as I miss him but plus a million! He thinks about hanging out on the back patio grilling burgers with Cooper and me all the time. He said it gives him something to look forward to doing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dear God

Please God, hold my soldier tight. I snuggle into my covers when he sleeps in the rain at night. I watch the clock to hurry the day, he watches for the signal to blow a target away. Keep him warm, keep him safe, give him strength to finish each day. -Erin

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Love, Love, Love Lee

12 mini yellow roses and 2 giant gerber daisies in a purse shaped glass vase just to tell me, "Three weeks left. We can make it! I love you, Lee"

Week 12

Lee had his phone this past weekend. We got to talk a bit but he was still busy doing his normal drills, chores, etc. The DS allowed the guys to use their phones since they are in the field all of this week. Lee left Sunday afternoon to rough it for the week. My heart hurts for him because I've read and heard so much about what he's doing this week. This is comparable to a semester final. They are taking every bit of information they have learned thus far and cramming it into multiple scenarios throughout the week. I looked up the weather forecast for him and there are high percentages of rain for him this week too. He said he's going to spend extra time working on his irrigation ditches since they sleep on the ground. He's been told to inform his family/friends to stop sending letters. DS receives many letters well after gradation because it takes so long to sort all the incoming mail. Lee did ask that I overnight a few items. They were unable to go to the PX before they left for the field. PX was closed due to the holiday weekend. Since they are able to get Mail Call while in the field, I am sending toilet paper, wet wipes, bug spray, protein bars and gum. I'm sneaking in the protein bars and the gum. Hopefully the DS won't check it. Protein bars because I know he needs as much as he can get, especially this week. Gum to keep him awake. Some nights they have to have 50/50 awake to guard post. This means that 50% sleep while 50% keep watch. They rotate every hour. Sometimes they may do 30/70 or different. On Friday evening they will begin their 12 mile ruck march to Honor Hill. They will be told to carry boulders, telephone poles and more. When they reach Honor Hill in the middle of the night on Saturday, there will be a brief ceremony. This is when the Soldiers are transformed into Infantrymen. The DS will pin their "crossed rifles" on their uniforms. Lee and I talked about Graduation weekend and what all he wants me to bring. Oreos were among the list! I'll have a fridge in my room so I'm going to stop by a convenient store and get some milk for him when I fly into Columbus. I hope it will be nice and chilled for him.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Holiday Weekend

Drove to Lee's hometown this weekend to celebrate Nana's 92nd Birthday:)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sleeping in the Rain

Lee sounded tired in his letter. He started the letter off by telling me how much he loves me and how hard it was to leave me at the airport. He was a nervous wreck and he didn't eat dinner that night. He's had several overnighters in the field and hasn't been able to write much. They did have mail call one day in the field so he was able to get some encouraging words from home. It rained a couple nights they were out there. Most of their "hasties" or fighting positions that they dug, flooded. They slept wet and sandy all night. They built "hooches" with their ponchos. They use sticks and cord to build little tents over their fighting positions. He spent a long time digging irrigation ditches around his so it wouldn't flood. He said it worked well enough for him to get through the night with only minor problems. It started pouring rain and lighting bad one night so they had to move into the wood line. The next day he led the guys on a pretty successful assault/ambush. He said they snuck up on their objective while the DS was standing around talking and he didn't even notice them. I bet he misses our big fluffy bed. Poor guy. During Family Day weekend, he took a lot of long hot showers. It was funny. When he comes home, he'll probably start soaking in the tub and taking hot bubble baths too. I better stock up on Mr. Bubble.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Boogie Man

The Boogie Man haunted my imagination last night. First big scare since Lee has been gone. I have trouble sleeping these days so I've gotten into a horrible habit. I crawl into bed and watch television until I can barely hold my eyes open. Last night was no different other than the fact that I heard a strange noise! It wasn't just me that heard it either. Cooper did too. He even jumped out of bed and started pawing at the door to go check it out. Normally, noises don't bother me. This one did. Embarrassingly, I keep my bedroom door locked while Lee is gone even though we have an alarm system. Laugh it you will...I finally mustard up the strength to get out of bed and run to my closet. I started going down my call list on my phone to see who was still awake all the while gripping my panic button to set off the alarm. After confirming with Kimberly that she has my address in case a crazy person was in my house, I carefully unlocked my door. Keeping Kimberly on the phone, I flipped on every light in the house until I could confirm I was alone. I confirmed. I have no idea what Cooper and I heard. After totally freaking myself out, I felt relief and then I got really sad. I hate feeling alone all the time. It gets hard. I know I'm never truly alone. My friends are great. Cooper keeps me entertained and my family is the best. Bedtime just sucks. I called Lee and left a voice message. I know his phone is turned off and he doesn't have it in his possession. Sometimes it's comforting to simply hear his voice. Anyway. New day. Gorgeous weather. And I can chuckle a bit about my vast imagination.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Starting To Like Mondays

"Only three weeks until graduation. Love, Lee"
Although...if we want to be technical, it's 3 weeks and 6 days. I'm technical:)

"This Too Shall Pass"

This weekend... Friday was date night with friends. I went to Taylor and Jacob's and watched a movie. Nick and Kristie came over too. It felt good to get back into our movie night routine. It was so cozy being curled up on their couch that if the movie hadn't been so intense, I might have fallen asleep! Saturday, I had an appt in Edmond at the dealer to get our oil changed and the tires checked since I was getting the caution symbol on my dashboard for my tires. Turns out, I had a nail in the wall of my tire. I had to buy a new tire but fortunately our vehicle is still under warranty making the oil change free. I raced home to prepare for Sheena's baby shower that I hosted that afternoon. The shower was a lot of fun. A few of the girls stayed after to help clean. We ended up sitting around and talking with Sheena for hours. It was well after dark when they left. It was nice to fill my home with laughter and good conversation. When they left, I got busy setting my table, etc. I jumped probably 10ft in the air when I heard the doorbell ring. As I walked to the door, I saw the door handle rattle like someone was trying to get inside. Luckily, it was locked. I nervously said, "Who is it?" I then heard, "It's Taylor." haha I opened the door and they told me my phone wasn't working. Apparently, Lee had been trying to call me since 6pm and they had come over to make sure I was OK. (Thank you God for blessing us with great friends.) Something was wrong with my SIM card and I wasn't getting any service. I had no idea because I hadn't needed my phone while had a company that evening. Jacob fixed my phone while I used his to talk to Lee. His DS had told them that if anyone could eat a pkg of MRE crackers in 2 minutes then they could have phone privileges. Lee got innovative and started gathering crackers and gave them to DS to organize the event. One guy was able to do it. That same guy that was able to complete the task, his wife delivered a baby that day! He told Lee that he would've loved to be there for the birth of his baby girl but he knows he's doing the best thing for his family where he's at now. I got to talk to Lee for a bit before we reluctantly decided he should try to get some sleep. Sunday morning I woke up to pay bills. Our mortgage is withdrawn today and I needed to mail Lee's insurance check to his "civilian" job so we can keep his benefits. Before paying the rest of our bills, I checked his MyPay account. MyPay is the military link to view your soldier's pay stub, get tax info, etc. When his information uploaded I was horrified to see his deposit on the 1st was for $14.43. I looked, stared and was in shock. It was listed as Other Credit but there wasn't anything displaying and deductions, his salary...nothing. I immediately called the number I had for assistance and of course the office was closed for the weekend. I called his company commander's desk and asked for advice. I was advised to wait until Monday morning, call Lee's recruiter and go from there?!?!?! (Gee...thanks for the help.) In my head I was wishing I had known this all last night when I got to speak to Lee. I cannot describe the loneliness I felt when I hung up the phone with the DS working the command office that day. I was counting on Lee's check to pay the utility bills so I could buy my airfare for his graduation with my check on Friday. I cried cats and dogs. I felt like such a failure. What if they didn't get it fixed by the 15th when his next check was deposited? Many uneasy thoughts were going through my head. All day I was sick over the thought of him not getting paid accordingly for all the hard training he's doing and the sacrifices we have made to be together. I didn't get out of my pajamas all day. Finally, I posted a thread on the Army Wives Forum that I'm a member of and asked advice on what I should do. I gave a detailed description of what I was seeing on Lee's stub. Bittersweetly, many responded that they have seen the same thing. I was told where to click/view to see if there was an additional pay stub. AND THERE WAS! He's getting his normal pay check and the additional credit is where he was shortchanged in a previous check. What a relief. Due to my ignorance, I wasted the day being a vegetable on the couch feeling sorry for myself. I don't share this story for pity but for you to relish in our accomplishments. Jan often reminds me that, "This too shall pass."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Snail Mail

Big bummer man. I was really hoping to get a letter today. Lee said he would write me Sunday night before lights out which would mean it would've gone out Monday morning. I was HOPING it would've come in the mail today. I race home to check my mailbox everyday. Living on the edge, I know right?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Little Late

I got a letter yesterday that he shipped last Monday; 08/17/09. It was a little late. He sent it on a frustrating day. He also included all the details that would've been great assistance when I was navigating around base. Luckily, I managed. I managed well. I sit and stare at him in the pictures I took over the weekend all the time! He's so dreamy in his uniform. I miss him so much. Not a whole lot to say right now other than that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

After the Big Weekend

"Can't wait to see you again. Four weeks of training until graduation. Love, Lee."

Seeing Lee this past weekend was incredible. Really. I was extrememley nervous, excited, anxious, sleep deprived...Friday, I left work a bit early to make my flight to Atlanta but my flight was delayed. I finally got to Atlanta and discovered a vm from Lee. They were given their cellphones to use until lights out. By the time I was able to call him, I had less than 10 minutes to talk to him before lights out. It was really neat to hear his voice and anticipate the next day's events with him. I was finally able to board my flight to Columbus, GA and landed around 10:30 p.m. I was worried I was going to get lost maneuvering around town with my rental car but it was extremeley easy. (Thanks to Lee for getting me a GPS before he left.) I found my room and got settled in fast. I tried to get some sleep but who needs sleep, right?!?! Saturday morning I woke up super early. I wanted to leave my hotel early in case I had trouble getting on base, etc. Nope. That was easy too. I sat through a boring Family Briefing. I say boring because I couldn't hear anything. Between crying babies and catty moms that know it all to well to listen...then finally, DS told us which door we would exit to see the men in formation and where they would be in 20 minutes. One guy opened the door and I found my way to that side of the room and exited fast. I remember overhearing the family behind me saying that it kinda sucked that they had to wait another 20 minutes. While they sat there dwelling on the next 20 minutes I was already finding my way around the buidling to see my soldier. I've got to tell you, I had this overwhelming feeling as I was walking down the hill and turning the corner. Suddenly, I saw all of them in formation. I uncautiously covered my mouth in awe and choked up big time. There they were. Clean cut, straight as a whistle and standing in formation. I knew Lee is in the 3rd Platoon and to count down from the left to find his platoon. I also knew where he would be standing from the drawing of his formation he had sent me. Front and center since he's the Platoon Guide! It was neat to fit an image with all the letters I had studied, read and reread. When they concluded the Soldiers Creed, they were released to their barracks to get their personal items and then could meet up with their families. I stood there watching, staring and waiting for him and there he was. I stood there frozen and almost in shock that he was walking towards me. Then he grabbed me and we clung to each other forever. He grabbed my hand tight. I could feel how sweaty he was in his Class A's but I didn't care. I lead him to our car for the weeknd while he held onto me the whole way. It was everything I had imagined and more. He wanted a cheeseburger so we stopped by Burger King. He ordered an Angry Whopper and large fry. We then stopped by a conveienvt store and he got 2 large Gaterades and 2 Monster energy drinks. We then had to stop by Taco Bell. He got a chicken quesadilla, soft taco and a large Pepsi fountain drink. He ate it all...Few hours later he wanted to order a pizza...and we did. Jan had brought the peach pie he had requested Nana make for him. He ate more than 1/2 of it over the weekend. We just gave the whole thing to him and told him to dig into it. We drove around his base and he pointed out where he had been and what he had accomplished during his training. It was crazy to see the rope that he had fallen ~15ft. We also saw where his Airborne Training will be held. Again, it was great to see things with my eyes instead resorting to the visual I had made up in my head based off a letter. He looks so good. He's talk, dark and handsome. I took some pictures and I will post some soon. It was really hard saying goodbye...again. The dinky airport in Columbus only had 1 flight going out yesterday and it was mine! They didn't even have security open yet because the commuter plane wasn't back from Atlanta. Lee watched me check my bag and sat with me by security for awhile. We eventually felt like he should go so he could be sure to make it back to base in time. He was pissed off beacuse the gates weren't open yet. He didn't want me to have to watch him walk away again. He got up, we hugged and he was gone. I saw him go out the the glass doors and disappear around the corner. I sat there crying and fidgeting with my wedding ring. Hoping; wishing he were still with me. The weekend went by too fast. Like an answered prayer, I looked up to see Lee. He came back. There he was sitting by me. Like when I first saw him Saturday morning, he grabbed my hand tight. It was perfect. He said he wasn't leaving me like this and that he just couldn't. I called him when I landed in Atlanta and got to talk to him one last time before he had to turn his phone off to lock it up again. I'm hoping he gets his phone more as graduation gets closer. I'm so excited for him and I'm so excited for us. To see what all we have accomplished together and the bond we share is amazing. We talked about how when he signed up; we both signed up. He sheds sweat and cry tears. Together we're making it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This is the Week

"This is the week! I'll see you soon! Love, Lee"

ALL DAY PHONE CALL

Lee called me at 7am yesterday morning! I got to talk to him all day and it was A-mazing! He sent me this picture from another guy's phone to my email. We talked about my trip to Italy and how much he wished he had been able to be there and share in the fun with everyone. I told him how much fun it was and how much I had missed him not being there. It's the little things that made me miss him more. When you see something for the first time or experience something extraordinary; you want to steal a glance at your special someone or give them a nudge to make sure they saw it too. We talked about how dehydrated he has been and the insane muscle cramps he has been having. His legs were cramping so bad that he couldn't bend them and had to scoot his way around the floor to get to his plate of food. His plate of food was placed on the porch by the door for him since he can't have food in the barracks and he couldn't walk to Chow. Crazy. He didn't want an IV because he would've had to go to the hospital. He was really excited about being chosen to shoot the AT4 (Shoulder-Fired Rocket System). Only a few guys are chosen to shoot them since each rocket cost ~$10K. He said it was awesome. He didn't hit anything with it but someone said he probably killed a million ants. He said he spent our tax-payers money in a little under 1 second. He shot at a tank ~300m away with a rocket traveling at 290 m/s. He's also really excited and I am so proud of him because he shaved 1:21 off his 2 mile run for his PT test. He can now do a 2 mile run in 12:20. He's so cute and sweet and sexy and smart and funny...awe I can't wait to see him this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(The white circle is where his last name reads, for obvious reasons I have blocked it.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm Back

Back from Italy and we all had so much fun! The wedding was absolutely perfect. Taylor's attention to detail made the day surreal. I'm a bit tired but my head is spinning. One week from today I will be in Lee's arms for Family Day at Ft. Benning. I couldn't be more excited. I have so much to blog as I received 4 letters from Lee while I was gone. I will update you all soon but first there is LAUNDRY!
. Couple of us girls on the Spanish Steps in Rome...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Italy Bound

A couple of our very best friends are getting married in Italy, August 13, 2009. I leave tonight to join them in the celebration! I feel so blessed to be a part of their romantic garden wedding. The pictures look dreamy. I imagine actually being there will be surreal... I know Lee wants to be there with us and especially to stand up for Jacob. I'm sure I'll be thinking about him the whole time so perhaps he'll be there in our hearts.

This is where the wedding will be held! Unbelievably perfect, I know.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blue Phase

Lee letters always encourage me and leave me smiling. He quotes, "It's those left standing in the end that are the best!" We're barely beginning Blue Phase but at lease we're beginning. Poor guy. He's so hungry. He went to OSUT weighing in ~195lbs. He had been weight training and running a lot. He now weighs 177lbs. After he puts on his "battle rattle" he weighs 285lbs. Dang! That's a lot of extra weight to carry around all day. His "battle rattle" includes his body armor, helmet, load-bearing vest, camel-back with water, 2 full canteens, weapon, ACU's (camo), boots, and packed assault pack. He's says it's cool for the first 5 minutes and then your back goes, then your shoulders, legs then feet. He saying his sweat smells like ammonia. He's hearing that he's burning muscle now. Great. I researched the sweaty smell and sent him some information about it. He has to wear his Class A's for Family Day. I'm excited to see him in uniform. He said I'm going to laugh at how high he has to wear his pants. The Army likes to wear their pants high? Whatever. Lee says it's cool to run in the rain. Not cool to eat in it. He's tired too. Apparently, the DS found wrinkles in the blankets of Lee's platoon. For a week they have to take apart the bunks and store them and the mattresses in the showers and reassemble them at night. This cuts into their sleep time. I sprayed my last letter with a perfume that Lee loves of mine. He said he smelt it right away and it smells so good. Especially compared to farts and sweat...(I'll take that as a compliment.) Lee thinks farting in formation is a tortuous act that everyone enjoys doing. He says it's horrible because you cannot move! They eat a lot of MREs in the field. He always anticipates what he is going to get. Chicken, vegetarian, enchilada...you never know what you're going to get. You have to eat what you're given. Recently, he got really excited because they got to eat breakfast in the DFAC instead of having a MRE in the field. He has to eat his meal last since he's PG. By the time it was his turn, they were out of milk and he had to wait for a refill. He got his milk, sat down, finished his eggs, biscuits/gravy, and french toast. (shoving this all in his mouth, of course)The DS came in the DFAC and made everyone get up and leave. Lee said normally he would be bummed but he's used to it now. He was looking forward to finishing a big meal full of protein and calories. He had to throw away his Frosted Flakes (his fav cereal), nutri-grain bar, orange and grapes. He's been tested a lot recently. He had a written test, another first-aid test, a test on fixing a malfunctioned weapon, and weapon assembly/reassembly. He also had to walk the DS through a needle-chest decompression. (It's used to relieve pressure from within the chest cavity and allow a collapsed lung to re-inflate.) He also had to take a M4 apart in 1 min 30 sec and he did it in ~30 sec. After all that he got what he had been waiting for for a looong time. A meatloaf MRE!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lights Camera Action!

video
Jan and I went to Best Buy today and bought a video camera! We can now record ALL of Lee's MANY upcoming graduations!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Caroline

Caroline's lease was up in early June. She moved in with me temporarily when Lee left for training. Her lease in Chicago starts August 1st. Her last night in my super chic pink guest room was last night. I'm going to miss her very much. She's been such a sweet blessing to have in the house while Lee is gone but also as a friend for life. She lets me talk about Lee mucho and asks me about my day when I get home from work. She puts the fun in all things. I'm more excited about her big move than I am sad to see her go. She's always seen herself in a big city and I'm thankful she has someone amazing to share it with in Sean. I'd like to think I helped push her towards her dream as much as she's helped me through this Summer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

OK...I got another letter and it starts out that he's staying so busy as PG that he has to find time to write me letters while he's in the bathroom. Gross. He says its about the only time that he gets time alone. He gets bombarded with questions from every direction now. He has started ARM (Advanced Rifle Marksmanship). He thinks the moving targets are fun but he now has to wear an IBA (Individual Body Armor). Everywhere they go, they have to wear all their training gear. The IBA is made of a nylon like material with a Kevlar plate for the chest and back. It weighs about 20-30 lbs. On top of that, they carry their LBE's (Load Bearing Equipment). LBE is a vest with pouches that hold magazines/ammo, canteens(2), grenades, etc. They also carry/wear a 5 lbs helmet and a weapon that weighs 6.2 lbs. He said that it's hard to move but the DS says they'll soon get used to it all. Lee has bruises on his shoulders from the IBA already. He writes that the "kids" are hyper when they're not exhausted. His platoon has been messing with other platoons by taking their supplies and equipment. While they were at chow one evening, another platoon took one of his guy's weapons. Lee had to go talk to that platoon's PG and call a "truce." Lee said it was equivelent to high school. That PG told Lee that he had planned on giving the weapon to the DS to get Lee's platoon smoked for awhile. Lee blatantly told the PG that he didn't have time for all the BS and that he came here to train. They ran 3 miles one morning. 3 miles is short and sweet for him now. He still sweats a pool of water. The DS gives him a hard time because there is always a puddle of sweat at Lee's feet when they are in formation. He has had to be the heat casualty victim 3x's now. It's funny reading his letter when he's talking about being stripped down to his now tighty brownies in front of the whole company with ice sheets all over him. He writes that he feels truly blessed to have close friends and family that care about him after reading my letters of me telling him about my recent www.nationalcasa.org work. In my letters, I tell him what's going on at home, with our friends/family, work, Cooper...I tell him everything. I love our letters and know that I'll cherish them forever. We write like we're having a conversation; not formal by any means.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Week 6

As PG (Platoon Guide) he is is managing the guys during the day and pulls all his extra details at night such as Fireguard. He writes that he is exhausted and misses me mucho. He hopes to get phone privileges soon since they are almost done with White Phase and moving to Blue Phase soon but of course, no guarantees...He's really excited about seeing me and said he has my travel itinerary posted in his locker. He said some of his guys saw a guy from another platoon come into their bay so the guys hog-tied the guy from the other platoon with duct tape and took a picture. Thankfully, the DS said, "That's some good stuff!" I'd like to hog-tie Lee about now. They had their Rifle Qualification and he was worried about shooting as well in the kneeling position. He said he worked on it for awhile the morning of qualification and ended up shooting "Expert" at the range! He got his Expert Marksman badge pinned on him and a "Good Job" from the DS. He sent me the pin to me to admire. I even smelled it. Ha. Originally I was thinking I'd prefer him to suck at shooting so he wouldn't be of any use to the Army. I now prefer him to be better than the bad guy so he can shoot them first. It helps to not think of it as revenge but instead think of it as prevention. Prevention for so many things. Some loser got caught sitting on his bed after the DS had specifically told him not to sit on his bed. The DS instructed everyone to disassemble ALL the bunks and reassemble them outside with the exact same layout as in their bay. Complete with mattresses, foot displays and laundry bags! They had to do it in 30 minutes. They didn't make it in 30 minutes so they had to do push ups.

He loves me...

"Week 6 of training. Love you and miss you very much. See you very soon. Lee"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Flower Romance

"Week 5 of training. See you soon, miss you, love you. Lee"

Isn't he just the sweetest man ever?! AGH! I miss him so much. He's incredibly thoughtful...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Phone Call

I got a 10 minute phone call! It was amazing to hear his voice. I had a bunch of things to tell him and I blurted them all out at once. I asked him if he gets to wear bug spray and sunscreen?!?! I then realized I was asking stupid questions and told him we can talk about bugs another time! I told him that I just wanted to hear about how he misses and loves me to pieces. I can't really recall anything important that we talked about but he was adament about making sure I booked my trip to see him in August for the Family Day weekend. He told me that he was really very homesick for me. He said they have a lot to carry/wear and it's very hot. He's glad that he's exhausted all the time so it makes the homesickness barable. He saved a lot of time by telling me that many of the things that I had vented about in my letters he had already written a response and I should receive those letters soon. Eventually the DS came into the bay and told everyone to end their calls. I told Lee to tell his DS to kiss it. haha Lee said he would prefer not to do that...kiss kiss. I love you and that was it. Dial tone. Back to reality. Make my grocery list. Give Cooper a bath. Mow the yard. Anything to keep me busy and I mean busy! I called Jan (Lee's Mom) as soon as I hung up the phone. While telling her about Lee's call I started to zone out and felt like a real downer. I miss him so much. This is hard. I can't wait to see his face. I want to see his super short hair. I wonder if he has abs of steel from all the "corrective training" they're doing. I can't wait to see that too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Appointed Platoon Guide

I got 2 more letters from Lee yesterday! He was appointed Platoon Guide by his DS! I've learned that this a HUGE honor. This honor ranks him just below his DS. He wrote that he basically does everything the DS used to do. The platoon was then divided into different squads by their PT scores. (Alpha, Bravo, etc) Each squad then nominated Squad Leaders. The Squad Leaders are to report to Lee and Lee reports to the DS. Crazy?! I wish I could be in Lee's pocket to see him in action; a bit different from being President of your class! He said that its a bit exhausting learning all his new responsibilities. Some of the guys are still a bit rowdy. One in particular, is recently fresh out of high school and seems rebellious. Lee is trying to straighten up loose ends and get everyone doing their thing, but this particular kid doesn't think that he has to abide by any of the rules. He's been very rude and outright rude to Lee. He was being disrespectful towards another guy in the platoon and that guy punched him in the back of the head! The rebellious kid came to Lee for help and advice on what he should do. Lee thought that was interesting. However, Lee followed protocol. He suggested the kid report the incident; especially since their was some noticeable swelling to his head. Turns out the ambulance had to come and get him and the guy that punched him was taken to jail! Lee's back is feeling better. It was causing him quite a bit of pain from the fall. One of day, the DS was supposed to teach a class but he forgot all of his slides and handouts so he talked about Family Day the whole time instead. He gave neat little tips and discussed past Family Days with the guys. This of course got everyone riled up to see their families. Lee wrote a lot about Family Day again. I cannot wait to see him. I probably talk about him and only him around all my friends/family right now but I can't help it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

He loves me...

He loves me and misses me mucho. He cannot wait to see me in August for Family Day! Yes, the weekend pass has been confirmed via letter that I received last night! This is the transition weekend between Basic and AIT. Graduation is at 14 weeks. I am so excited. I called his mom first and then booked my trip second. Airfare, car rental and hotel reservations are complete. August will be a big exciting month. Sweet Henderson wedding in Italy, Fort Benning to see my sexy husband and a baby shower at the end of the month that I'm hosting for Sheena. Lee wants to get a couple MREs for him and I to have a picnic somewhere when I pick him up for the weekend. He wants me to try one of the meal ready dinners and see what I think. Yummy... Whatever. I just can't wait to see his face!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Give MY Letters to MY Husband!

I went a little over a week without getting a letter and then wham! I get two, five page letters in the same day. Then I got a another letter the following day. He said that he hasn't had much personal time to write so when they got a "light day" on the 4th of July they were allowed to watch the Patriot in an air conditioned training classroom. Instead, he wrote me the entire time. Apparently there has been a lot of drama in the barracks. Some immature idiots are getting kicked out of the Army. They broke into the DS's (drill sergeant's) office, got their cell phones and were caught eating candy; junk food. When they'll get kicked out is yet to be determined. When screw ups behave like this, the Army has been known to hold them until graduation and then give them the boot. There's young kid that comes to Lee crying a lot too. He wants to quit so bad but he always confronts the DS bawling like a baby so of course the DS doesn't give him the time of day. Lee basically told him to suck it up and approach the DS like a man and maybe they will help him figure things out, etc. Lee's Company is split into 4 platoons since there are so many guys. Someone from another platoon made a racist comment to someone in Lee's platoon and EVERYONE has been getting corrective training and smoked at the drop of a hat. Lee is exhausted. He said that they were at Chow (dinner) when the DS came in and yelled for everyone to get in formation. (Lee feels like they're getting less and less time to eat but he's learned to devour his food.) They get in formation and notice that someone is missing. Minutes later, the guy appears and this is unacceptable. The DS made everyone drop down on their belly and grab their ankles. They then had to wiggle approximately 70 yrds to a tree. Lee wrote that he's got blisters from climbing ropes, scrapes, bruises and whatever else requires Bandaids and Neospoirn. I sent him a few First Aid items that I am allowed to send upon Lee's request. I miss him so much. I send a letter everyday except Sunday. Duh. I've been told that the DS will hold letters during mail call to beat the guys down; single them out. This was only rumor until Lee confirmed that he received 11 letters from me in one mail call, the same day he also received a letter from his mom, Nana and Jacob/Taylor. He was told to do 25 pushups/situps for each envelope and 75 for his Mom's letter since it came in a FedEx envelope. Geez. He was so happy to get mail that he was more than excited to do the work to get to read some encouraging words and find out what's going on back home. He said, "Keep them coming!" It's the highlight of the day for the entire Company. I can imagine not getting a letter would be a real downer. He fell. He was climbing a rope and didn't have a good hold with his ankles and was using all his upper body strength that he was zapped by the time he got halfway up the rope and he fell 15ft. He landed on his feet, then his back and then his head. Everyone was amazed that he got back up. I hate reading stuff like that in letters but I'm glad he tells me but at the same time, I have so many more questions!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Passed Gas

Lee passed his Gas Chamber Challenge. He wrote that they were told to file into the building right behind one another. Once they were all in the building the door was shut and gas was pumped into the chamber. Lee said it burned his skin. One by one they each had to take off their mask, say their name and the last 4 digits of their SSN. They could then put their masks back on and once they all had completed the task, they could exit the building. Lee said he couldn't breathe, see or think straight but he was able to follow orders and get out just fine. Many guys had to do it over and over again until they got it right. A lot of people got sick and lost their lunch too. This was the big part of the training I was worried about him doing. Sounds scary to me...So glad he got it right the first time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Sweaty Guy"

Lee sweats a lot when he is outside, working out, etc so it came to no surprise when I learned that he's being called, "Sweaty Guy" by his Drill Sergeant. In Lee's most recent letter he wrote that the Drill Sergeant approached and yelled, "Where's my Sweaty Guy?!" Lee had to respond, "Here Drill Sergeant, moving Drill Sergeant!" Lee said that he ran up to the Drill Sergeant and was then told to lay on the ground and play dead. Everyone yelled, "Man Down!" The Drill Sergeant then told everyone how to treat a heat casualty. They were instructed to strip Lee down to his undies and place him on a stretcher. The unit was then instructed to place a rolled up ice sheet under Lee's legs, each armpit, neck and one sheet over the entire body. The ice chest is then dumped over the victim. Lee said it was, "Cooooooold!" He also said that they have true heat casualty victims daily since the heat/humidity is fierce. They have these ice chests dispersed all over the base and monitor the guys constantly by little portable devices on tripods. I got a letter from his Commander with graduation dates. I am very excited to have actual dates. It makes counting down to see my soldier a lot easier. The Commander's letter also mentioned that his platoon would be "eligible" for a Family Day in August! Meaning, if no one screws it up I can see him. This would mean me flying out there in August for Family Day, September for OSUT Graduation and October for Airborne Graduation. Lee's family offered to help pay for the August trip if it is confirmed that his platoon is granted the privilege. I thought that was very sweet and generous of them to help. Tickets are approximately $700 for that particular weekend. Ridiculous for a 2 day trip non overnight pass but I don't think the Commander cares what I think...Let's all keep our finger crossed that Lee gets the "privilege" of seeing me!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fireworks

Lee arranged for these to be sent to me also! "One week closer to seeing you again." Love, Lee He's so sweet and thoughtful and romantic...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lee

Lee arranged to have flowers sent to me on his Birthday...So sweet.
"Wish I could share my Birthday with you!" -Lee

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bit of Lee News

Lee has said that Reception is horrible. They aren't able to do much PT, just a lot of sitting and standing. He sounds pretty bored. In Reception you get yelled at and treated like crap. He's looking forward to getting shipped to Sandhill to start training so he can at least earn priveledges and start PT. I've read on my forums that he'll have the opportunity to be treated like a maggot rather than just dirt. Ha! He said that the food has been decent in Reception but you're usually given a spoon only. He ate a steak with a spoon! The other day he had ribs and had to eat them in 3 minutes. In the mornings they're given 50 minutes to potty, shave, make their bed, sweep their bay, mop, clean the latrine, clean out the washer/dryer, and close any open windows. Lee said that many guys seem fresh out of highschool but there are several his age and older. The younger guys are acting out but he hopes they settle down once they ship out. He said they're having a 90-100% huimidty levels and their is a heat exhaustion casualty everyday. He said he unforutnately stands out not only bc of his age but also bc he sweats so much! He said he wouldn't be surprised if his ACUs(camo) differ in color than all the other guys ACUs soon bc of the sweat. The drill sergeants picked 70 out of 270 to take to a UFC fight the other night. Lee was one of them but his immature battle buddy wasn't. From what I gather, he doesn't stand a chance. Sounds like morale is low bc everyone had been looking forward to starting training last week. Having to be in Reception one more week and being delayed is testing their patience. Lee said there is another engineer in his barracks. The guy missed the birth of his baby girl. He didn't go home bc him and his wife had rather him get training out of the way. Graduation will be the first time he see his daughter. Lee said that talking to me for 5 minutes the other day was amazing and it was really hard to hold back emotion. He said waiting in the phone line is a scary place. It's like a funeral home. Everyone misses home so much and many guys burst into tears when they hang up the phone. Lee said that his favorite part of the day is when they are allowed time to write home bc he feels like he gets to talk to me. He ships to Sandhill today and I'm sure he'll be greeted with the sterotypical yell in your face greeting. I was wondering how I would respond to that and imagining myself in his shoes. I'd cry or laugh outloud I'm sure. You can follow his training by the link to the OSUT Journal beside my blog. Let me know if you have problems locating where he's at in his training. It should be the first Friday of Week O. (Although technically it's not bc of the delay.) I have it saved to my desktop and highlight each day we conclude. Countdown.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

His Voice

His voice brings tears to my eyes and his words make me belly laugh. I do hope I get another love letter today. I've gotten 3 so far... and I've gotten a 5 minute phone call from Lee for a quick briefing. At 15 seconds, I was like, "What do I say in 15 seconds?!" "I love you, bye." And that was it. They are overbooked so his training is delayed a week, therefore delaying his graduation. Ultimately, that is one more week I have to wait to see him. He will be in Reception for another week. Waiting. He's had his dental checkup, vision and hearing test, shots...He had 4 shots in his left shoulder at the same time, 1 shot in his right forearm, one shot in his left butt cheek and 4 vials of blood taken! He's a pincushion. He got fitted for his running shoes and combat boots. He's got his ACUs and his hair has been shaved. He's done everything you do to process in the first week so I'm not sure what he'll do this week while he waits. i carry your heart with me i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart) i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet) i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you here is the deepest secret nobody knows(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) ee cummings

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thick

I've been writing Lee a letter since he's left. I'm still waiting for a letter from him so I can get his address. By the time he gets this envelope, he may have a book. It'll be one big chapter.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

They've Got My Back

While Lee is gone, I am often reminded how blessed I am to be surrounded by an enormous support system. Our friends and family have been absolutely, hands-down unbelievably wonderful. Words cannot express how thankful we are.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Yard

I mowed the front and backyard yesterday after work. I didn't want to get eaten up by bugs or hurt myself with the edger so I wore jeans. Lee's jeans! They were saggy and a horrible fit but I avoided getting mine dirty and I had a pocket for my phone:) Didn't get to the edger last night, I think Dad will have to help me figure that bad boy out first. It wasn't my first time to mow our yard but a definite first to wear Lee's jeans!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Roller Coasters

I used to love the thrill of roller coasters as a kid but these days the only roller coaster I'm riding is that of emotion. Lee has left for training. I have been doing an insane amount of chores daily even if they don't need to be done just to keep me busy and have something to control. 'The Army Way" is full of surprises. I've had my phone glued to my hip since he left but I left it at the house yesterday evening while I took Cooper for a walk. As I was walking in the front door my vm notifier was going off. I missed his call(s). He left 4 vms and if only he had called once more...devastated. Sick. Woke up with my eyes glued shut from crying my eyes out last night. He said he won't be able to call for weeks but hopes to send a letter soon. Strangely, the song "We are Strong" is ringing in my ears. Ha. I think I'll be OK.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Independent

We've had our 3rd drill. We've celebrated our birthday and we've said our goodbyes to the family. If I hear one more..."What are you going to do while Lee is gone?" or "How are you holding up?" or "I'm thinking about you." I'm tired of feeling like a victim but I'm making Lee laugh because I hold my breath when I get anxious and clean like crazy. He's coming back. It's not forever. Every obstacle brings a new adventure. This is me being positive. Make me laugh. Tell me stories. Don't feel sorry for me or us for having to be apart. My soldier is a warrior. Hy husband is a Hero. Ha and I'm his "dependent" according to my Military ID Card. See below for a bit of my favorites from Theodore Roosevelt: Man in the Arena. "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." "Citizenship in a Republic,"Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Monday, April 27, 2009

Flowerbed

While I was planting flowers in the backyard, Cooper found a nice perch for a quick nap.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

2nd Drill

Lee spent his weekend running, marching, etc. He passed his first full out fitness test giving us reason to cheer. Meanwhile, I got a nail in the tire of the new car and took care of it myself. I was quite the busy bee too. After a failed attempt the other night at dinner, I totally redeemed myself tonight! I've really gotten into this whole cooking thing. Sundays are my days to really prepare for the upcoming week. I do a lot of cooking and cleaning, emphasis on cooking. Lee eats. Lee eats a lot. I made 2 lbs of Sloopy Joes, 4lbs brisket (which is A-mazing), Chicken Spaghetti, Chicken Parma Rosa and don't forget the variety of sandwich meat from the deli for Lee to have a fast hunger fix. Ha! You laugh but its so nice to just come home and just warm something up for dinner. AND all these yummy things make a better lunch than a Lean Cuisine. The OKC Festival of the Arts was this weekend. We checked that out Saturday when he got home. Didn't see anything I could live without but I'm still dying to get some really spiffy art on the walls. Roger Roger.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ID

I got my Military ID. Woo Hoo. I did venture to the stores on base to see what my discount can get me. I found a couple soap dispensers that look super cute in our guest bathroom. Score.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Drill Location & Date Change

Yee Hawwww! Lee got new orders for his upcoming drills. For the drills leading to the time he leaves for training, he gets to drill in OKC. He doesn't have to drill in Denver until his training is complete. He got new drill dates too! He'll be here for my BIRTHDAY in May!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

1st Drill

I picked Lee up at the airport and he was full of conversation. We talked and talked and talked about all he learned, saw and will see. It felt so good to hear that his only regret was that he couldn't keep his chapstick on hand because it wasn't on the "packing list." While he was doing push-ups, I was in Frisco, TX with our friends celbrating Krisite's birthday. We did some shopping and headed to Dave & Busters to play some games and eat dinner. It was a good time, the only thing missing was Lee!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's All a Whirl

Last weekend, the girls and I flew to Houston to spend some much needed girl time with Mal. It was very hard adjusting to the time change and completing the laundry when I returned. I'm already looking forward to our next quick trip. We've decided to make these girly trips priority. Coming home, Lee informed me that he got a letter in the mail that lists the next month's weekends that he will be gone doing the drill thing...He'll be gone on my birthday. Yes. On my birthday. And so it begins... This weekend Lee has his first drill of many in Denver, CO. This guy(still learning titles)did call him yesterday to let Lee know that they are working on fitting him in with the OKC Drill weekends so he can avoid traveling costs to Denver. He would be able to drill in OKC until he completes Basic. This is all happening fast, its hard to keep up with the facts. The fact is that I have 12 weekends left with Lee. 9 if you count drill weekends when he's gone. There's so much I want to do before he leaves for 4 months. We need to fix the gate to the backyard, activate the alarm system... On a positive note, I have learned that Mandy Moore recently got married in no other than my favorite place in America; Savannah, GA.