+Thursday, August 18, 2005+
Today is quite possibly one of the best days of my life. The only way it could be any better is if Matt were here to share it with me, however I have not let the fact that he's not here deter the significance of the events of this wonderful day. Despite being on the opposite side of the world and being unable to give me the congratulatory hug and kiss I absolutely crave, he can still at least share in my joy, and in a deployment, one takes what they can get. :-)

I slept great last night - the best night's sleep I've had in what seems like ages. My nightmares had gotten to the point where I was developing a case of insomnia - they were so horrid I was actually afraid to fall asleep. But sleep came easily and naturally last night; I gave my pillows a good dousing of Matt's cologne. Matt had called arond 9 p.m., but the connection was terrible and our call got disconnected. I held onto the phone listening to the dead air for at least a minute before I finally hung up - sometimes the phone just goes silent and eventually I'll hear Matt's voice coming through again. This was not the case last night. I was a little disappointed, but I didn't let it bring me down; I've gotten the opportunity to talk to him a lot more than usual this week, and it's not like a call getting disconnected is a surprising or uncommon occurrence.

On a whim, I took a shower last night before going to bed instead of in the morning before work like I usually do. I had a feeling Matt would call back in the morning and taking a shower that night would decrease the amount of time it takes to get ready for work, giving me more time to talk to Matt incase he called. He did!! Mostly he was curious about the annual raise I was supposed to get yesterday (but didn't because we were so busy the opportunity to discuss it with my boss never arose), but also to let me know he'd gotten a few letters from me, to tell me he loves me, to talk about what a good week he's having, and of course, to pester me about remembering to water our tree and bushes LOL.

It's funny to me how our good weeks and our bad weeks always seem to coincide. We always talk less during bad weeks because his mood directly affects mine and vice versa (and we make up for it during good weeks), but the similarities in the patterns of our weeks strengthens my belief in soul mates. It's almost like the psychology that's studied behind twins - sometimes I'll get a sick feeling in my stomach for no apparent reason only to have Matt tell me later when I talk to him about something bad that happened. Ridiculous as it may sound, it's one of the things that's held me fast through the hard times of the deployment; there's something enduring in knowing that we're always on the same page.

After an excellent and upbeat conversation with my baby this morning, I came into my office to have my boss call me into her office for the review I've been waiting for since the beginning of August when my second anniversary rolled around. I was a little nervous; I knew what I wanted to say and I knew how much more money I was going to ask for, but there's something about being in the "hot seat" that's disarming and makes me feel quite vulnerable. I had nothing to worry about though - my evaluation went fantastically. My boss filled me up with wonderful compliments about what a great asset I am to the company, how great I am at my job, and how one day when Matt and I have our business, I'll fully understand what a blessing it is to have an employee that's as reliable as I am. I was so flattered I felt on the verge of tears. She then offered me a raise that was a good deal more significant than what I had been planning on asking for - it amounted to just over a 9% raise!!! Unbelievable!!!

I was all smiles when I came out of my boss's office. I don't doubt I was emitting a glow that could've lit up New York City during a black out, and even if I'd tried, I wouldn't have been able to prevent my ear-to-ear grin. I thought I was going to have to argue for the amount I wanted, and here I was offered quite a bit more!! An even happier feeling came when I realized I paid all my bills on my last paycheck while trying to figure in my car payment that's due this weekend (I get paid weekly). I thought I would be a little tight for cash until September, but I erred greatly in my finances - I erred greatly in my favor. I kept thinking tomorrow was the 26th - the day when my car payment's due. Imagine my surprise to discover that tomorrow's the 19th and my car payment isn't due for another week. With all my bills paid, that means this week's paycheck is completely free and clear!! It feels like I'm getting free money - I might as well just have won the damn lottery! Erring in one's favor when it comes to money is an excellent feeling. :-) It's the first (and probably the last) time in the deployment I've been glad it was earlier in the month than I thought.

My friend H is coming out to spend time with me this weekend and Matt's sister is also coming in from out of town to visit for a little while on Saturday. I'm really glad that Matt's sister is coming - she's one of my bridesmaids because she's family, but I've never really gotten the opportunity to "bond" with her the way I have with Matt's mother and father. It'll be great to hang out with her like she's just one of my girls; we are going to be sisters soon, after all!

My darling Freedom has to go in for her last set of kitten shots next Thursday. She's growing so fast and getting so big! She's officially reached the gangly and awkward phase of kittenhood - I can't believe next Friday she'll be 4 months old, and it's still such a strange thought that she'll be a full grown cat when Matt gets home! I'll have to post more up-to-date pictures of her since the ones I've linked to are now a couple months old. I'm still utterly convinced that babies are the antidote to a deployment - baby animals, baby humans, it doesn't matter. If it's cute and little and can keep you occupied, it'll fill your heart with joy to the point where sometimes you actually do "forget" the underlying pain that's a part of everything you do when your loved one is so far away. God bless my little deployment kitty (and Matt for letting me get her! hehe).

wishing matt was here @ 3:28 PM+

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