+Thursday, April 21, 2005+
I'm stuck in a rut at work because our network is down, and aside from busy work that I really don't want to do (i.e. filing an insanely large stack of papers I've been neglecting in hopes that someone else will finally get sick of looking at that stack and file it themselves, making labels on a...ugh...TYPEWRITER, etc), pretty much my entire job is based around what's on the network, so since I have nothing to do, I thought, gee I haven't blogged in a few days. Hmmm. Two and two DOES make four.

Apparently the army's up in arms over the Yahoo! group our FRG started, and it's no wonder since the family members of the group are basically pushing the limits of OPSEC as far as they possibly can. They're straining the line and it's only a matter of time before it breaks - if it hasn't already. There was a situation that happened in our unit (I'm sorry I can't share it here as I don't want to make matters worse), and as soon as one wife found out about it, oh boy, did the sh$t start flying around our Yahoo! group. I've pretty much opted out of participating in the group emails as I've found that they never really benefit me in being "supportive." The idea behind the basis of the FRG is really a great one, but I've found more support and help in my blog and the other military wives I've met through my blog (and whose blogs I read). I find it difficult to relate to more than a handful of the girls in my local FRG. Everyone else is just so quick to jump to conclusions, share those conclusions with the group, and cause mass panic. That's not my idea of being supportive. Is that awful of me to say? That I don't like my FRG?

After a call getting disconnected yesterday (this seems to happen to us a lot...), Matt called me this morning to let me know that he's really busy in the next month and that I probably won't hear from him much if at all. This is what I've been dreading. I freak out if I go 8 days without hearing from him...A MONTH? Well, at least I had some forewarning instead of him just NOT calling.

When I talked to him this morning, he told me a story of how he went to give a little Afghan boy a muffin and the little boy took off running (gee, what's so scary about a 6 foot tall soldier with a big ass gun?), so he called out to the boy and when he stopped, Matt put the muffin on the ground and stepped away from it and the little boy came running back to eat it and just seemed so happy. My heart melted. Oh, I know, it's so cliche - the hero soldier giving the little boy from a war torn country some food. There's only about a billion pictures of the exact same scenario, but it's different when the hero soldier is my Matt, and I was absolutely overcome with an enormous feeling of pride. Are the men and women of our military not the most amazing and selfless people in the world? To give up all the luxuries of their every day life and spend months - years even - helping others. I don't think I could possibly be more proud of what Matt's doing. He is an American soldier and that is just....Bad. Ass. To all our soldiers: Thank you. You all f-ing ROCK.

Matt's parents are coming into Reno tomorrow for his mom's birthday, so I've decided to take the night off class and clean. My house isn't really all that messy, per se, but I like to make it spotless for Matt's mom...you know, just incase she's judging my housekeeping skills. LOL. I must be worthy of her son! Mainly I just need to dust and pick up, but if I'm thorough about it (which I usually am when the in-laws come into town), it'll take me at least a couple hours not to mention I still have to finish making her birthday gift, so I feel my reasons for not going to class are totally valid, and let's be honest here - I really don't like the class and there's a mere 3 weeks left in the semester. Missing tonight's lecture on running water certainly won't affect my grade.

For Matt's mom's birthday, I've decided to put my newfound creativity to work. Right before Matt left, we went skiing and took just about the most adorable picture of us ever, so I bought a plain white frame and am decorating it with white glitter (the kind they use for fake snow), white flowers, little snowflake stickers, and a tiny wooden snowman - a winter frame for a winter picture. I'll post a picture of it when I'm finished pending it doesn't end up looking like a botched kindergarten project. Since Matt's left, I've discovered that I'm quite crafty. Hell, I can even color in the lines! Who ever said homemade gifts should only be from 5 year olds? Michael's and the scrapbooking section of Target are my new favorite places to browse for things I don't really need.

Summer's finally coming and I've actually been kind of dreading what I'm going to do to pass time when I don't have class to go to after work (you know, like the class I'm not going to tonight?). I thought about signing up for a summer course, but every night after work for 3 hours just seemed a bit too much. I don't enjoy school that much. Instead I decided to sign up for a kickboxing aerobics class! It's all summer long, 2 nights a week when I get off work, and I figure it'll not only give me something to do, but get me in shape too. Can't complain with that. God knows it's healthier than what I've been doing after work and class thusfar in the deployment (sitting on the couch watching TV and eating pizza. Lots and lots of pizza). I've been trying to get a few of my girlfriends to sign up with me - even tried a little threatening - but to no avail. The consensus among my girls seems to be that they're all either broke or lazy or both. Ah, well. It'll give me the opportunity to make new friends, and one can never have too many friends!

I love you, Matty. You truly are my hero!

wishing matt was here @ 3:22 PM+

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

+Sunday, April 17, 2005+
I've been meaning to update for a few days now, but every time I sat down at my computer, I just couldn't find the motivation to write. I think it could very possible be spring fever - why should I be inside blogging on my computer when it's freaking gorgeous outside?!? It'll undoubtedly snow again in May as it always does, but I've been taking the opportunity to get outside and enjoy this perfect 70 degree weather before that happens (and before June and July when it gets into the high 90s low 100s and it gets too hot to "enjoy" anything).

I took off work on Tuesday and Wednesday because I was feeling a little under the weather and spent the days watching movies and burning home videos of Matt onto DVDs for quick reference. Sometimes I need videos of Matt like it's an emergency. The best I can do when I'm nearly suffocating from the pain of missing him so much is pop in a video of him being his usual goofy self and fall in love with him all over again.

It was cold and blustery on Wednesday (wait, didn't I just say it was gorgeous outside? Well, it did snow a little on Wednesday, and that's a typical Reno spring for ya), so when Matt called me Wednesday morning at the time I'd normally be waking up if I were going to work, the wind proved to be a great hinderance to my cell phone signal. Our 30 second conversation consisted of "baby, this is terrible! You're so staticy" and me telling him to call back on the house phone before we were cut off. When he didn't call back, I. Panicked. It took me nearly 3 hours to talk myself into a million reasons why he didn't call right back, and when I'd thoroughly convinced myself that he'd most certainly call back on Thursday, I finally stopped thinking the world was coming to a crashing end. (I can be really melodramatic sometimes. REALLY melodramatic.)

Matt didn't call back on Thursday. In fact, Thursday afternoon Cingular's network "went out," whatever that's supposed to mean. For approximately 3 hours, every Cingular customer in Reno was without service. If I tried to call out, my phone beeped angrily at me with the words "call failed." If I tried to call my cell phone from a ground line, a recorded operator informed me that the number I had dialed did not exist ("What do you MEAN it doesn't exist? It's my freaking number. OF COURSE it exists!!"). It was from about 3:30 to 6:30 in the afternoon that this happened, making it about 3 to 6 in the morning in Afghanistan - times that Matt has only called me during once when he first got into Afghanistan and was still adjusting to the time change - but nonetheless, I figured as luck would have it, this would be the only other time he'd ever call me at those times, and he'd get some message saying my number didn't exist.

He didn't call when my cell phone was out though. And he didn't call all day Friday either. By this time, I was a wreck. I was able to waive off emotional disaster on Wednesday by telling myself he'd call back on Thursday, and I pushed it aside on Thursday by convincing myself he'd call back on Friday. When he didn't call back on Friday, I didn't know what to tell myself anymore. All I'd been doing since Wednesday was waiting for him to call back and the result was a lot of restless nights and waking up in cold sweats at odd hours. Oh sure, this isn't the first time my cell phone's dropped one of his calls (it's happened many times, actually. I get an awful signal at the house. Cingular's "all over" network my ass), but it was the first time he didn't call right back, and that, in my mind, was cause for concern. His first night in Ft. Sill when he called to tell me that he'd gotten there okay, my cell phone dropped the call. Being my first night without him, I was absolutely devastated, but Matt got back in line and waited for another hour and a half just to call me back so I wouldn't be sad.

After tormenting myself with "what if"s for 3 days, wondering if he'd misheard something I said as something awful and had decided never to call me ever again, trying to convince myself that he would call amidst everything inside me that was asking, "what if he doesn't?," it just seemed so strange that he wouldn't call me right back like he always has. I finally heard from him Saturday around 4:30 in the morning and because of my freakish overreaction in the past few days, it was the most satisfying conversation we've had in a while. As it turns out, he did try to call me right back, but he couldn't get connected and sat on hold waiting for an operator for a long time before he gave up. He'd also planned on calling me on Friday, but opted out due to long lines. Well, I lost my cool and acted like an idiot, but live and learn, right?

After talking each other's ears off about how things are (it had been over a week since we'd actually been able to have a good long conversation), Matt informed me that his 20 minutes were just about up. Already?? It's amazing how fast a 20 minute phone call can fly by when you've been waiting all week for it. As if on cue, a sound resembling an air horn (and sparing no volume) went off right in my ear. I didn't know they had actual alarms telling you to get off the phone. I always thought the 20 minute limit was just a courtesy thing, and now they're blowing horns in my ear. After hearing that, I thought they were just going to disconnect the call, but thank God they didn't. They at least gave us enough time to exchange our "I love you"s and "I miss you"s. It took me a while to fall back asleep after that - the whole room seemed to be lit up with the glow I was emitting. I love this man, and I can't wait till he's back and I don't have to share him with the army any longer, but for now, all I can do is sit tight and be patient and treasure the communication we have.

Saturday I went up to Tahoe to discuss mine and Matt's PMI test results with my priest (Pre-Marital Inventory test...it's something you're required to do before you get married if you wish to get married in the Catholic church), and was pleased to find we scored 100% on pretty much everything. After a quick run through of the few things Matt and I answered differently on, I headed to my parent's house and my mom and I proceeded to go scout out reception sites. I'm absolutely in love with one of the places we looked at - all things considered, the price is quite reasonable, but unfortunately, the parking is awful, which means if we did choose this as a reception site, we'd more than likely have to tote guests around in shuttles which makes the price not-so-reasonable. Nonetheless, the center is right on the northshore of Lake Tahoe - guests could walk down to the beach if they wanted to, take off their cramped dress shoes and wade their feet in the freezing cold, crystalline water (if you've never been to Lake Tahoe, I highly recommend you add it to your list of places to visit before you die. I take it for granted a lot since I grew up there, but there's no denying its utter beauty. Pictures don't do it justice).

My second choice is part of the campus of Sierra Nevada College. While it's not my first choice simply because it's not right on the lake like the conference center is, it's still surrounded by the tall magnificent pine trees the Sierras are known for, and it's still a gorgeous setting (not to mention the parking is MUCH better and it's a good deal closer to the church). We gave the date to both places to tentatively "hold" them (though we can't actually have them until we put down a deposit, this ensures that they'll call and inform us if anyone comes in looking to rent out the facilities for the same date). I'd be absolutely thrilled with either place as a site for my reception - both are half indoor half outdoor, both are surrounded by beautiful Tahoe scenery, and both are around the same price range.

Planning our wedding makes me so happy regardless that it's still well over a year away. It reminds me that even though this year is rough on both of us, we have the rest of our lives together to look forward to. In the scheme of things, a year really isn't that long - wives from wars past had to endure much longer deployments with much less forms of communication. If they could do it then without the luxury of weekly phone calls and email, I can do it now. And ultimately, I remind myself that he misses me too, but he still goes through every day doing what he has to do. I still cry a lot and it still hurts a lot, but time goes by much faster if I don't focus so much on that which makes me sad. Being sad and feeling awful won't make the year go by any faster - it'll just make it harder to get through.

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."
-Carlos Castaneda

wishing matt was here @ 11:33 AM+

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

+Friday, April 08, 2005+
I've had my cat, Ashes, for just over two years now. He was actually a gift from Matt for our first Valentine's day together, and ever since I got him, I've spoiled him rotten. Literally. He's a rotten little sh*t now, but I still love him, and as a result, still continue to spoil endlessly and wait for the day when he actually "goes bad."

My roommate's boyfriend had to keep his puppy at our house briefly, and unfortunately, the puppy quickly learned that he could squeeze through the cat door to my room (the master bedroom came with a cat door already on the door...so very convenient!), so for the past couple days or so, I've been closing the cat door to prevent him from coming in and disrupting my sleep as curious puppies have a tendency to do. Ashes, of course, thought this was absolutely atrocious and decided at about 5 a.m. this morning that he wanted out of the room and scratched and scratched and cried and cried until I finally woke up and opened the cat door.

I figured he need to go to the bathroom from how insistently he scratched at the door, and I'd certainly rather roll out of bed at 5 a.m. than have a kitty accident in my room (he's an indoor/outdoor cat and doesn't have a litter box, so I actually have to "let him out" like a dog). Unfortunately, he didn't ask me to get out of bed at 5 a.m. so he could go potty. He wanted nothing more than to walk up and down the hallway outside my room and meow as loud as he possibly could for about 10 minutes before coming back into the room and sticking his head in his food bag ::CRINKLE CRINKLE CRINKLE:: (I really need to put that bag in a cupboard). This he did just to be a brat - he didn't want food for when I lugged myself out of bed once again to feed him and shush one of his many ways of letting me know I'm his servant, he simply looked at the food bowl, looked at me, looked at the food bowl, and continued with his incessant crying.

If my cat isn't crying because he's hungry or needs to go to the bathroom, I'm stumped, so I crawled back into bed, thinking that I could get at least another hour of sleep before my alarm went off. Ashes had other plans. For some strange reason, he really didn't seem to want to let me sleep, and proceeded to walk through my blinds so they could clank together in their own musical chorus of annoying. This might not seem so bad to you; it might even seem docile since he is, after all, just a cat. But he's not "just a cat." Oh no, not Ashes. He doesn't do this because he wants anything. He does it to see how much trouble I'll go through to figure out what it is he wants. He does it to see how much I'll do for him. He does it...to torment me.

I finally just grabbed him and cuddled up in bed with him. At least if I've got my arms wrapped around him, there's little he can do to control me, and Ashes is a cuddle monkey. He's not your average independent cat. He's more attention needy and cuddly than my dog. If you give him a modicum of love, he'll jump up in your lap and never ever leave you alone, not even when you're bleeding from him kneeding his claws into your chest or suffocating from inhaling cat hair.

Around the same time I finally got Ashes to stop wreaking havoc on the precious little time I had before my alarm clock went off, Matt called. Matt is the only person in the entire world that could wake me up at that miserable hour without the result being a hissy fit. If my parents or any of my friends decided it would somehow be a jolly good idea to call me at 5:30 in the morning...well....I probably wouldn't pick up the phone (I was going to talk some s**t there, but it would've all been exaggerations of things I never would've said). I am simply not a morning person. That line from the Simpsons: "There's a 4:30 in the morning now?" That pretty much sums up all my thoughts on morning, and usually sticks with me at least until 11:30 am.

But I digress. I'd talked to Matt briefly on Wednesday - he called me around 1 in the morning to let me know that he was okay and that the Chinook wasn't from our unit, but since everyone else in the unit also wanted to call home, our conversation was limited to about a minute. Before that, he'd called on Tuesday, so imagine my surprise (and utter, complete, and total happiness) when he called AGAIN this morning! I told him I was already awake when he called. And then I told him why, and as someone who fully understand what it means to be tormented by Ashes, his "sympathy" consisted of a real hearty laugh. Thanks Matt :-P Thanks a lot. Like father like son, right? LOL.

On April 3, TF Storm had its Transfer of Authority ceremony, and I was pleased to find pictures posted on the website so that I could another round of "Where's Matt?" (similar to Where's Waldo? except finding a DCU clad soldier in a picture where everyone is wearing DCUs is a lot harder. It's like trying to find a specific straw of hay in a haystack. At least Waldo had that hideous red-striped shirt and hippie beanie). To my dismay, he's not in any of them, but well, I suppose it's not like I've never seen a picture of Matt before.

In all the pictures I've seen from Afghanistan on other blogs and at TF Storm's website, it's interesting to see how incredibly similiar it is to Nevada. They're both big ass deserts. They're both basically barren wastelands (everyone raises a commotion about Yucca Mountain because "Nevada is not a wasteland." Boy, do those people need to take a drive around the state. Nevada has two cities - Las Vegas and Reno. I wouldn't go so far as to call Carson "City" a city. It's the capital, and that's about it. Everything else in Nevada is either barren wasteland or real-life run down cowpoke one-horse towns with a few minor exceptions like Elko. Don't get me wrong, I love Reno and Nevada - can I get a "HELL YEAH" for no state income tax? - but that doesn't change the fact that it's a barren wasteland. Of course, I don't want Nevada to be a dump for nuclear waste, but it's still a wasteland. Wow, have I gone off on a tangent....). I forgot where I was going with that, but it was strange to peruse through the Transfer of Authority ceremony pictures and think that they might as well be at their base in Stead because they really do look like the same place.

After talking to Matt this morning, my entire day was great. Hearing his voice is a huge part of it, but I'm convinced that we could just sit in silence on the phone, and I'd still hang up having that great warm fuzzy feeling. Knowing that he's out there somewhere and that he still loves me is a deep solace. The presence of Matt and his love is what keeps me going.

WELL, I've been all over the place with this post, huh? Hehehe. What better way to end it than with a picture of our "kids"?

wishing matt was here @ 5:21 PM+

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

+Wednesday, April 06, 2005+
We had another scare this morning upon receiving news of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashing in southeast Afghanistan, made even more nerve racking considering ours is a CH-47 Chinook helicopter unit. I don't know how abundant those choppers are over there, but I didn't think a helicopter that's basically a bus with rotors would be as common as, say, a Black Hawk.

Lucky for me, I didn't even know about the crash until I got into work and read the mass email sent out by our RDC assuring us that it was NOT our unit, so I was able to save myself a lot of unnecessary worrying and quickly passed word to Matt's family that everything was okay. I also got to sort through the 50+ emails from the hens of my FRG, and in response to all their emails, I sent out one that simply said, "no news is good news."

I was so relieved to hear it wasn't our unit, but at the same time, I feel really bad for feeling relieved because people still died. Families still lost their loved ones. There's 16 separate families out there right now getting that dreaded knock on the door. That could've been us. That could've been one of our choppers. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have been affected by this. God will take care of your loved ones and watch over you.

Please excuse my rash change of subject here, but I can only dwell on bad things for so long before they start to break me down and make me worry, so I have to move on to a lighter note.

Last night it was back to school and back to my usual schedule. It's funny how it takes so long to get into a routine when it involves doing something you don't necessarily enjoy doing (like learning about rocks), but it's easy as pie to drop that routine at the snap of a finger (I don't actually know how easy pie is though). It seems all I did yesterday was groan about how I had to go back to class, but the truth of the matter is, I really am grateful for it. If I learned anything from my spring break this year, it's that having no time and keeping busy is far better than sitting around thinking about how much I miss Matt, letting myself linger on the pain. Of course, I can't say I don't think about how much I miss Matt while I'm in class because that would be a lie. More often than not, my hour and 15 minutes of geology results in doodles such as this one (click on image to see full size):

This was what I learned in class last night (please excuse that the American flag is inaccurate and the cat is bigger than the dog....it's not to scale). It started out simply as a little soldier (I call him my "little soldier dude" and I've been drawing him since I was 15, so if anyone tries to steal him, you must answer to ME...muwahahaha....anyway...) and progressed into a whole little scenario, so I cut it out of my notebook and mailed it to Matt. I figured my unrefined scribbles would bring a smile to his day; and I'll more than likely get a "you need to pay attention in class" lecture because my baby knows the importance of an edumacation, but I'll risk it if it gets a smile out of him.

wishing matt was here @ 3:55 PM+

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

+Monday, April 04, 2005+
Ah, the beginning of another week. Not to make it sound like a good thing since I hate Mondays with a blinding passion. HATE them. It haunts me that I must deal with 52 of them a year. Nonetheless, I do enjoy getting into a new week. A new week means that it's only a matter of days before I'll hear from Matt again. A new week means I'm one week closer to getting to see him.

Much to my dismay, this Monday got off to pretty much the same start as last Monday. The only difference was my roommate was home, and I slept great last night - the unmotivated feeling that's bogging me down today isn't because of a restless sleep; it's because it's Monday. And I hate Mondays. I stayed up till 11 - way past my bedtime - to watch Grey's Anatomy with my friend H, and didn't wake up until 7:18 when my pesky little prince of a kitty stuck his head in his food bag and filled my room with that annoying crinkling paper bag sound. I yelled obscenities at him across the room for a while before his persistence paid off and I dragged my ass out of bed only to look at the clock and do a double take. 7:18? REALLY? Oh $&#*. I suppose instead of shouting profane language and my cat, I should be thanking him. Were it not for that awful crinkling sound, I probably would've just kept right on sleeping. Daylight Savings never fails to mess up my internal clock.

Last week was boring. Not going to class after work gave the week the appearance of moving at a mind-numbingly slow pace, and it's probably the reason I haven't posted for a week - nothing interesting has happened. Matt called me Wednesday morning as I was getting into work and as always, it was so wonderful to hear from him. I was able to tell him about my trip to see his family, but that was about all I had to talk to him about - last week was just THAT boring. It seems like such an awful thing for a college student to be saying about spring break, but I've pretty much moved past the dude-let's-go-drink-till-we-can't-stand phase of my life.

I did, however, get a new cell phone, which I suppose was the highlight of my week. I'm not only glad to finally have a camera phone, but it's my first flip phone as I've typically been a loyal consumer of Nokia (who doesn't necessarily have a plethora of flip phones). I downloaded hoards of ringers - made much more amusing by the fact that this phone plays the "real tone" music ringers - and set 3 Doors Down's "Here Without You" as my ringer for Matt since typically there's only one of two numbers that show up when he calls (if you have Real Player, you can listen to the song here or if not, you can check out Victoria's blog which has that song streaming on the page). I was also able to download Tetris onto the phone which makes it not just awesome in my book, but ultra super awesome (we'll disregard how tiny the screen is and how much it hurts my eyes to actually play the game on my phone).

My friend H came into Reno this weekend, and we basically spent every waking second together. I was grateful for the distraction as weekends are typically the hardest part of the week to get through. On Saturday we went and saw Robots and Sin City. Robots - GREAT movie! Sin City - hmm. I've never read the comics or graphic novels it's based on, so the violence and gore caught me a little off guard. I just went with my friends to see it because it "looked" cool; chances are had I known about the disembowelment, the beheading, and the apparent infatuation with shooting off men's penises, I probably wouldn't have gone to see it. That's not to say it was bad, per se. Just not my kind of movie.

I'm also quite grateful to have made it through April Fool's Day completely prank-free. I hate April Fool's Day. Almost as much as I hate Mondays. My mom used to play such awful jokes on me - seran wrap on the toilet, thin slices of paper slipped discreetly into my sandwich for lunch, the list goes on. Needless to say, this prankster's "holiday" was ruined for me at a young age. I don't enjoy being on the receiving end of a prank. I guess I'm just a poor sport, but I can't find the humor in a lot of these pranks. These days most of them strike me as flat out MEAN.

My friend H has something she calls her "Quote Book." It's merely a spiral notebook, the cover decorated with a collage of sayings clipped from magazines, and each page is adorned with her favorite quotes, stickers and more clippings, and every day quotes from her quirky friends. Of course it's not limited to just quotes - poems, stories, song lyrics, anything that meshes with the mood she's in when she's writing in it, and while it is "merely" a spiral notebook, it's been filled with so much thought and emotion, she's transformed it into something so much more amazing than just a spiral notebook.

She inspired me to start something similar of my own, but instead of being general and covering everything, it's going to be more of my "deployment book," a book for me to jot down sudden feelings and to log different personal things, where I can write something like a quote down if it gives me a feeling of strength or empowerment, or perhaps the lyrics to a song I hear that reminds me of Matt. As opposed to a journal - like this one - my "deployment book" will be more on a personal level, where I can put my thoughts in ways other than just words. Writing down quotes and songs, poems and stories truly is more of a way to record a feeling than just writing an entry in my journal. It'll also help to remind me every day of why I love Matt and just how damn much I love him. I've come across so many websites filled to the brim with suggestions on how to handle deployment, how to maintain your relationship over all those miles and all that stress, how to stay in love with someone whose voice you only get to hear once a week, if that. Well, this is my addition to the list of how tos, my own personal way of coping with deployment (and undoubtedly the best "how to" for ME).

I finally got my "Proudly Serving America" American Legion yard sign in the mail last week and have it proudly displayed in our front yard for the whole neighborhood to see. I'll have to take a picture of it so I can post it here and send that and photos of my car to Matt - I'm sure he needs reminders every now and then of how proud I am of him and how much support he has back home.

Tomorrow is the 3 month mark of Matt being away from home. There's a good 12 months ahead of us before he'll officially be back for good, but it's reassuring to me to be able to look back on the last 3 months and admit that they actually did go by pretty fast. While it's still insanely hard at times, I don't cry as often or nearly as randomly. My heart still aches a lot, but all the bad feelings and the tough times, they pass. I always get through them and come out stronger. I think I have my tenacity to thank for how well I've managed to deal so far (at least so it seems to me) - I've always been independent and stubborn and truly try not to let the hard times bring me down. This is temporary. Matt will be home.

I've been watching some of the women in my FRG slowly breaking down, and it saddens me that there seems to be nothing I can say to pull them away from the rut they'll inevitably let themselves fall into. One wife has claimed how she hasn't cleaned her house in weeks, how bills are piling up, and she hasn't even been able to bring herself to pay rent yet. I want to reach out to her and tell her it's not that bad, but what if it IS that bad for her? Perhaps because of my pig-headedness, I haven't allowed my sadness to interfer with my daily life and that which I've deemed as necessities - such as paying bills. I want to tell her that just as we're sad back here at home, our husbands and fiances miss us just the same while they're away, but regardless they have to get out of bed every day and do what they have to do, so those of us back at home have to maintain our strength. We, too, have to get out of bed every day and do what we have to do. But I don't know if those would be words of encouragement to her, or if they would seem hurtful, like I was accusing her that her way of coping is wrong.

I've taught myself quickly not to bank too much on things so far in the future - events that will take place next April have little to do with my life NOW. Time goes by much quicker if I look forward to things that are more feasible - like looking forward to my trip to my friend H's ranch at the end of April as opposed to simply waiting for Matt's homecoming NEXT April. How can I expect time to move right along if I'm hanging on to an uncertain date in 2006? So far this theory has worked out rather nicely for me. Plus I learned in a rush never to get my hopes up with anything when it comes to the army, to never "fall in love with a plan." Matt put in for his R&R in October, but since he could only put in for a relative time frame and not specific dates, our trip to Germany might not work; he might not have any choice but to come home for his leave. I don't think I'll jump to any conclusions for the time being; the important part is that I get to see Matt and where we go or what we do comes second to seeing each other. I would love a trip to Germany though. Not to mention if we went to Germany, I'd have Matt to myself for those 15 days - I wouldn't have to share him with anyone (boy, that sounds selfish...LOL).

wishing matt was here @ 4:01 PM+

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *