+Tuesday, March 15, 2005+
I consider myself very lucky thusfar in the deployment. Well, "lucky" all things considered. So far Matt's called me pretty much every day since getting into Afghanistan, and I know further down the road when they start to get busy with missions or what have you, this may not always be the case, but for the time being, I'm loving it. He called me his first night in Afghanistan (actually it was Thursday night here, Friday morning there), and he's been able to call me just about every day since. Granted, I didn't talk to him on Sunday nor have I talked to him today, but nonetheless, so far I've talked to him much more than I ever expected to. For once the army has actually exceeded my expectations. It's a miracle.

He called me on Monday morning right after my alarm went off (it's probably not coincidental since he knows pretty well the time I wake up), and it was such a pleasant way to wake up - a call from the other side of the world! It was Monday evening there, and while his day was just winding down, mine was just beginning. He told me not to worry, that he'd already been through Monday and that it wasn't so bad. He's so cute. He cracks me up. It's so strange to think about how far away he is, and I generally try not to as it makes my heart hurt to fathom how many miles are currently separating us. I missed him tons while he was at Ft. Sill, but there's almost draining about him being in a different part of the world. He's not even in the same country as me; he operates on a different schedule, he sleeps when I work and vice versa. He's not even in the same DAY as me, and I miss him all the more because of the distance between us.

I keep reminding myself that this is temporary, but it's tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm still basically just getting into the "tunnel." I spent some time with my parents this weekend, and my dad took the liberty of reminding me how many other things I've waited for in my life - my 16th birthday, my 21st birthday, etc - and how quickly those came and went. Hell, I started counting down the days to my 21st birthday before I'd even turned 20. And I know in retrospect, I'll look back on this year and it won't seem so bad, but right now, it sucks. Matt tells me to be "timeless" and keep busy, yet it seems no matter what I do, I can't help keeping track of the days.

At this point it sounds like Matt should be home by April of next year (this is taking into consideration his demobilization, and being quite liberal with the length of that - hopefully he'll be home before April.) Originally they'd told us 3 months for demobe. 3 MONTHS! Before Matt left Ft. Sill, they were told 5 days. That's, you know, just a minor difference. Of course, keeping in tradition of the army, I'm not banking on anything. The countdown at the top of my page is counting down to April 1, 2006. Thank God next year's not a leap year. I think the extra day would be my own personal hell. I miss Matt so much. Everything I do every day is just an effort to make time go by faster. I hate that it's not physically possible to speed up the process.

I'm going to visit Matt's parents this weekend; I haven't seen them since Christmas and am actually really excited to get to spend the weekend with them. I have no doubts, however, that the drive will be painfully nostalgic of all the times Matt and I drove it, of all the conversations we had in those 2 hours. I was only going to go down for just a day, but his parents were insistent that I stay the night, spend some good quality time with them. They'll be the closest connection I have to Matt for the next year, and I'm grateful for their support and understanding. His mom misses him greatly; it's apparent how much she loves him and worries for him, yet she knows how hard it is on me in different ways, how I'm affected by the loneliness of an empty home, how I have to go day by day without a person who has been a consistent part of my life every day for more than 2 years, and she expresses her understanding of that. I'm so grateful for the relationship I have with Matt's family. I'll have very good in-laws :-)

The rest of my life has been pretty per usual since my return from Oklahoma. The first week back went insanely slow, but things have started to pick back up now that I'm getting back into my routine. I've even discovered a new addiction. America's Next Top Model. Yup. From the beginning of this "fad," I've never been a very big advocate of the whole reality TV craze. I thought Survivor was stupid, and I'll even admit that I don't see why American Idol has gotten so popular. The tryouts are a riot, but I lose interest after that. It might have a lot to do with my utter disdain for pop music, but American Idol has never struck my fancy. The only other reality show that I never missed an episode of was the first Bachelorette with Trista and Ryan, but didn't everyone love that season? I mean, it was Trista and Ryan. Given the circumstances of my feelings toward reality TV, I never would've even considered watching America's Next Top Model, except this season there's a girl from Reno - Noelle - and I know her. I don't know her in the sense that we were old pals that go way back, but she went to my high school, and in a high school of only 450 people, it's difficult not to somehow be associated with everyone. She was in my drama class.

So in light of someone I "know" being on a reality show, I decided to watch it. It's strange to see a familiar face on TV - oh my God, that girl took the part I wanted in our high school play. And I got sucked in almost right off the bat. Not even because I know this girl, but because the show itself is so catty and interesting. At the end of the day today I caught myself thinking, yes, tomorrow's Wednesday - America's Next Top Model! Yikes. I really am addicted, aren't I? Matt would get a kick out of it; he'd probably tease me endlessly (and most likely will when he cruises by my page and reads this post). See baby, this is what happens when you leave! :-)

I've been watching a lot of movies lately, too. On nights I don't have class, I come home from work and watch a movie. My DVD collection is slowly but surely growing into a fabulous library of romantic comedies. I love it! I suppose this is my way of coping - watching trashy television programming and happy love stories by the boat loads. Luckily the weather's been really nice lately and spring fever is starting to kick in, which is just about enough to peel my ass off the couch and take our dog to the park or go play some tennis with a friend. Without fail, winter always brings me down in the worst way. By the end of Reno's winter, my head is spinning from being couped up indoors for so many months - it starts to get cold usually around October, it warms up in March just long enough for everyone to start getting really antsy for summer, it gets bitter cold again in April, and snows in May over Memorial Day weekend. This is Reno's winter every year. Matt and I always bet on whether or not it'll snow in May - he bets it won't, I assure him it will. So far I've always won. If he was here to bet me this year, I'm sure I'd win again LOL. (Yes, baby, I'm gloating. I love you!)

Going to visit Matt's family this weekend is a great excuse just to get out of the house. My dad made me go skiing with him on Saturday, and I was glad just to have something to do that didn't involve TV, work, or school. I just want it to be summer again so I can quit moping around the house - no matter where I go or what I do, I always miss Matt terribly, but at least if I get out and DO things, time tricks me into believing that it's going by quickly.

wishing matt was here @ 10:27 PM+

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