+Monday, March 28, 2005+
Oi. What a Monday it's been! You know that saying that you never know what you had till it's gone? I came home to an empty house after spending the weekend with my in-laws and absolutely rejoiced. I made myself a nice big DiGiorno pizza and lounged around in my pajamas watching "Legally Blonde 2" for this must certainly be heaven. Having the house to myself, that is.

It wasn't until I went to bed that I tried to recall the last time I'd spent a night completely alone in that house. My dog growling at a dream had my heart thumping and me sitting up in bed like a 5-year old with uncontrolled fears of the Boogeyman. The house was so QUIET it was almost too eerie. I always complain about my roommate, but until now I've never realized how grateful I am to have someone sharing the house with me. Most military wives have their kids to keep their house alive with the sounds of every day life; those who don't, I can understand why they'd be inclined to spend a hefty portion of the deployment living back at home with their parents. I'm glad to have the house to myself for the week, but I have no doubts now that if I had the house to myself for the entire year, I'd probably go nuts. Like put me in a straight jacket and commit me to a room with padded walls nuts.

Needless to say I didn't sleep very well last night. I couldn't stop thinking about how quiet the house was; I couldn't stop being a big scaredy cat. I kept waking up every hour from a quick restless sleep, and when I finally fell asleep for the last time at 5:30, I didn't wake up again until 7:20. Quite a predicament considering I leave for work at 7:30. So far this hasn't been the best way to start off a week, but luckily the day was busy and went by relatively fast.

Matt called me Friday at around midnight, and in a groggy and disoriented state, I hit the wrong button on my cell phone and hung up on him. You can bet I went from groggy and disoriented to wide awake and upset in a matter of miliseconds. I hadn't heard from him for over a week, and my dumb ass had just gone and hung up on him!!! I cried over my cell phone for a few minutes, begging Matt to call back as if he could hear me, when thankfully he called back on our house phone.

He sounds like he's been incredibly busy - working 10 hour days and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. He'd sacraficed his lunch break to get to the phone tent so he could call me, and while I felt bad that he was going without a meal for my sake, it was so incredibly good to hear his voice and know that he's okay. He said he'd been worried about me and how things were since it'd been so long since we'd last talked (HE was worried about ME...hehehe) and promised that he'd try to make the time between his next phone call much shorter. Oh, how badly I'd needed just to hear his voice, to have that contact and know that he's okay. I feel much better now. :-) It's strange to have such minimal communication, to be pushed back in time to the days when a girl actually had to wait for a boy to call.

Going to see Matt's parents this weekend was the most therapeutic thing I could've done next to hopping on a plane to Afghanistan and actually seeing Matt. I've never spent time with Matt's family without Matt and was worried about whether or not it would be awkward, but it wasn't. Not even a little bit. It was just as natural as if it were my own family. The drive was quite lonely and unfamiliar without his company, and I found myself talking to him anyway as if he really were there, sitting next to me in the passenger seat. Am I losing my mind? LOL.

On Sunday I got to see Matt's grandma, and while I was sitting in the living room talking weddings with his sister and mom, his grandma said, "It's just so normal with you here, Erika. It's like you've always been a part of our family." As you can well imagine, that made me feel really great. They ARE my family - my "other" family - and I'm grateful for the close relationship I have with them. Matt's mom sent me home Sunday afternoon with an entire cherry cobbler for myself, some cheesecake, some lemon pie, and a chocolate bunny for Easter. I think they're trying to fatten me up!

Matt's mom and I got to exchange our "Matt stories," and I love him all the more hearing about what a little brat he was when he was a kid. I constantly stopped in their hallway to admire the family photos they have hanging up on their walls and have officially decided that had Matt and I gone to the same high school, I would've had an enormous crush on him. He was a regular high school hottie (dreaded teenage acne and all!!). I've seen hoards of pictures of Matt from the time he was a baby up until the time I met him, but I never get sick of looking at them. I love learning about the part of his life I'll never be able to be a part of as it's already come and gone.

I washed my car on Saturday before heading out. It was probably a little silly since I knew it was going to rain, but my car was so disgustingly messy inside and out, it would've been humiliating for his parents to have seen it that way. I also got my license plate frame on Friday, so I was able to add it to my already supportive car just in time for my trip. Here's a picture of my beautiful, supportive haven :-) (I accidently blurred out some of the frame when I was censoring my plate number, but it's not too bad):

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wishing matt was here @ 5:55 PM+

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