27 December 2008

Reality Check.

I had a bit of a reality check while we were (are) home for the holidays. I always knew that this Deployment was going to suck. I knew it was going to suck to be apart from Swiss and be a "single" again. I knew we were going to miss out on a lot of things. But I don't think I really thought hard about what that meant.

This Christmas seemed so precious. And sitting amongst our family with presents and food and laughter, I almost cried when I thought about Swiss not being here for this next year. I started to think about all of the missed Birthdays, our first anniversary spent thousands of miles apart, watching the fireworks on the 4th alone, not having Swiss in the stands for our softball games, missed Thanksgivings (which is my favorite), a New Year's without Swiss to kiss at midnight, a hunting season without him, a football season with no one to curse our favorite team, missing the changing of the seasons, missing hot cocoa after shoveling the snow, ... the list goes on, and I am sure you all know what I speak of. But I'll tell you what: all of those realities hit me like a ton of bricks.

We are getting short on time together, the D-date is nearing ever faster. And no matter how hard I try to sear the sight, smell and feel of Swiss, I feel like nothing will stick. And no matter how hard I try to stretch out the moments we have together, time keeps flying by. I don't like it, not one bit. But I will keep on trying, keep on making the most of what time we have left before the big D. Its really the only option.

Anyway, I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas and that you are enjoying the holidays with the ones you love. May your New Year's be grand and here's to a safe, swift 2009.

21 December 2008


We made it back home up North. We pulled an all nighter drive to beat an upcoming storm and avoid icy roads. Boy, that sucked. We are so not as young as we used to be! I remember all-nighters being fun in college... anyway, we are back home safe and sound, spending the holidays with the ones we love and enjoying the massive amounts of snow.

I truly hope that each and every one of you and your families have a joyful, warm, loving, wonderful Holiday season. Best wishes from Swiss and I!

PS- LAW, I took lots of photos of the snowy goodness... I'll post them when we get back! :)

19 December 2008

Wish us luck!

We are about to head out.
Due North.
Into Abnominal Snowman Country.

Near as we can tell, we have freezing rain and copious quantities of snow to look forward to. Iowa is listed (yes, the entire state of Iowa) as "Difficult/Dangerous" road conditions and my parents over in Wisconsin got a foot of snow overnight... heck, video footage of my hometown was on the Weather Channel today... that's a lot of snow if you make it to the Weather Channel. If I were a kid I would be giddy... sledding! snowmen! SNOW DAY!!!

But we are hoping to find a seam in the storms and make it home by Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for good weather! Swiss and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas/Hanukkah and a stellar start to the New Year.

Thanks for all of your support and friendship! Happy Holiday Internets!

18 December 2008


I have none. We may have bought Guitar Hero last night at the PX. And I may have a blister on my thumb and cramps in my other hand. See? No restraint.

Plus it is rainy, cold, damp and foggy out today. I say that is a perfect day to OD on video games. Aah, the joys of not working. But I do get to pack tonight (Yippie!) and we have to get everything in order for the journey north. It is hard to believe we've been down here for 3 weeks already, and D day seems like it is coming faster and faster. Watching Swiss work on his web gear and body armour when he is home on lunch brings a lump to my throat. I'm hoping that this holiday will be stress-free (or at least close to it) and that we can really take some time to enjoy this holiday. Sometimes it feels like certain family members are oblivious to the fact that he is leaving, soon, and will miss next Christmas, next softball season, next hunting season, next Birthdays, next everything. So I am hoping that everyone makes the best of our precious time with him... fingers crossed!

I will be without internet access for most of the jaunt home so here's a heartfelt HAPPY HOLIDAYS and let's all hope for a wonderful, safe, and quick 2009!

17 December 2008

Are you a juggler?

So Friday Swiss and I get to set out on a 1,000+ mile trek back home to see the families for the holidays. My parents- bless their hearts- are packing up the two pups and all things Christmas related and driving a couple of hours in the winter weather up to our house to spend the holidays, sadly this means leaving my almost 91 year-old Grandpa behind. That makes me sad. But I digress, one of Swiss's 5 siblings will also be flying up with his wife to have Christmas with that side of the family. And there is Swiss's son, Swiss's brother- with whom Swiss desperately wants to go hunting, Swiss's sister-in-law, and of course Swiss's parents. Oh yeah, and I want to squeeze in some time with friends too.

All I can say is HOLY HANNAH!

We really haven't had to do the whole family juggling thing yet. So this will be fun. I think. Thankfully Swiss's mom was more than happy to have my uber-fun parents out to their house for Christmas Eve day. And we will have our own little batch of festivities at our home Christmas day. I think it is all going to work out. Heck, how bad can it be? We will be with our family for the holidays, the last one before the big D. So no matter how mad and/or crazy it gets, I am just going to be thankful that we are all together.

But I digress once again, what tips do y'all have for juggling it all at the holidays?

16 December 2008


Does anyone know why the ladies at the Commissary insist on putting your milk into a plastic bag? The big jug of orange juice too? I mean, they come with handles built in for a reason, no?

And does anyone know why there is such an over-abundance of German food products? I am definitely not complaining, just curious.

Also, what is it that makes cable so expensive? Why can't I only pay for the channels we watch? Seriously, there are only ever 12 channels in play at Casa de Tucker & Swiss. And we have like 300 channels.

Finally, why was there freezing rain and ice on the windshield of the truck today when we are in one of the southernmost states of this great union? I THOUGHT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WARM HERE!!!

The end.

15 December 2008

Just the basics.

So yesterday, Swiss and I were sitting/laying on our couch/bed/air mattress and I was looking around at our sparse digs. We only have the all-purpose air mattress, a TV, and XBox 360, and our computer... and a couple of chairs too. That's it, other than the necessary kitchen goods. Its a far cry from the cozy comforts of our well stocked and furnished home. Dare I say it's even a little worse than dorm life.

But you know what? It doesn't matter. Not one bit. Because I am so freakin' happy.

Swiss and I are blissfully, disgustingly happy... and I realized, with great clarity, that we don't need any of the superficial stuff to be happy. Just each other. (Don't get me wrong, I like the superficial stuff... I adore my sofa, my KitchenAid mixer, my tchotchkies, all of it. I like my stuff!) Its just that when you boil it all down, all we really need are the basics, everything else is just details. Swiss is what makes my life good (along with a couple of really special folks like my parents), he is what makes it full of fun, comfort, safety, joy. Being together is all that really matters. And that is pretty cool.

Happy Monday internets... I hope your week is off to a good start!

14 December 2008


So, last night we had to go to a holiday party. A party hosted by the folks who weren't all that friendly the week before. Needless to say, Swiss and I weren't all that thrilled about going. We even had our escape planned should we need it. We were prepared for the worst.

You know what? It ended up being a lot of fun and it turns out that a few of the ladies that were so standoffish and cold last week are actually very fun, friendly and nice. I even got a few phone numbers and e-mails of these ladies because they want to stay in touch when I head back up north. And of course, there was some liquor involved so you never know how serious they are, but in the very least it made us feel more welcome and a part of the unit family. Most of the guys were still all Hooah, Hooah and Army this, Army that. But we met a few other who were at least willing to talk about something else, which was a nice surprise.

So all in all it was a good night and we are happy that we finally became insiders (kinda) rather than the ones on the outside looking in. And I think this is a good reminder that things aren't always what they seem... and that second chances can be worth it.

Happy weekend internets!

11 December 2008

I've been tagged... sort of.

Ooh! I've never been tagged before! LAW tagged me, sort of, it was more of a "tag! your it! ...but only if you want to be..."

The rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you. See above!
2. Post the rules on your blog. Here.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. See below.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs . All of my bloggie friends were already tagged! So if you want to, consider yourself invited!
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. If any of you want to do this... go for it! Just let me know.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up. Done.

So here it goes...
1. I have a deep and abiding love for the Sound of Music. I sing along and dance and am generally obnoxious when I watch it. Thankfully that is usually only once or twice a year.
2. I love shoes. No, really, I love shoes. At last count I had over 70 pairs (if you let me include flip-flops). And Swiss is a shoe horse too. We need bigger closets.
3. Some of you already know this... but I am a painter. I would love nothing more than to go back to school for painting and printmaking and try to make a go of it career-wise. Swiss is all for it, but I am a chicken.
4. I am hopelessly addicted to Top Chef, Project Runway and Sex and the City re-runs. Hopelessly. That is damned good TV.
5. I love Sharpies. Love them. I will use a Sharpie as my writing instrument of choice in just about every situation. My favorites are the classic medium tip black ones. Love them. LOVE!
6. I am a terrible over-packer. No matter how long we go somewhere, I over pack by about 5 days. I can't help it! I'm indecisive and I like options!

There you have it! Happy Friday internets! I will keep y'all posted about the dress situation too!


Okay... I already talked about the pending Ball. And I really feel like if I am going to do this Ball thing, I am going to look damned good. And not just fancy good... sassy good. I don't want to be the Belle of the Ball, but I don't want to look like everyone else there. That said, I am not wearing a chartreuse taffeta monstrosity either. Sassy, kicky and sexy... but classy too. Thing a merging of Carrie and Charlotte... That's what I am going for. Problem: the town outside of post only has a Dillard's. And I'm guessing lots of the ladies will be shopping there... and the mall here is scary.

So enter the wonderful world of Internet Shopping! ...Shall we? (I just ask that you keep in mind the fact that I am no size 6... I'm an athletic girl and I'm not that tall... but I am not afraid of heights or stilettos! That and I'm NOT going to spend a fortune on this thing...)

Option 1: Ralph Lauren one shoulder black dress... Ooh! It has a ruffle!

Option 2: Continuing the one shoulder theme, only this time in red.

Option 3: Now let's stay on the red one shoulder bandwagon. I kinda really like this one!

Option 4: One shoulder again! Only this time in navy. (but it comes in black as well)

I am sensing a theme... but moving on...

Option 5: Its green! And not one shouldered! I am totally mixing it up now! (but this one comes in red and black too)

Option 6: Heh... back to one shouldered and in black. (This is Swiss' favorite)

Option 7: This one is decidedly different. Strapless (meh.) and patterned.

Option 8: Black with two shoulders (!) and this one may make me look like I have a teensey waist.

and finally... what? I can't help it! I'm indecisive!!! Just ask Swiss!

Option 9: Another black number that will aid in the teensey waist department. And it's kind of sassy with the belt, no?

And on one final note... Apaches are REALLY loud when they fly right over your house not too far above tree level. Just thought you'd like to know.

Okay Ladies... I need your input! Help me find something fabulous for the Ball! Cast your votes now!

Having a ball.

No, literally, there is a Ball. A formal Ball, and it is about a month away. I haven't been to anything labeled "formal" since my prom (and no, my wedding doesn't count). And the aforementioned prom? Over 10 years ago. 10!!! But I digress...

What I need to know from you ladies is what to expect. And I need pointers on a dress. I found the sassiest, cutest, sexiest black cocktail dress yesterday and SO wanted to buy it. My dear mum had to confirm what I already knew. Cocktail dresses won't cut it at a formal ball. Ball, SHMALL I say! It was a Carrie dress! It was perfect! But I digress once again... what is standard at these affairs? How schmancy do I have to get? HELP!

I definitely need a Crib sheet on these Military Balls (heh... that sounded dirty even when I didn't mean it to be). Cliff notes... whatever you've got.

I'm expecting some good stories Ladies! So bring 'em on!

10 December 2008


Okay, first the good news. I e-mailed our FRG leader yesterday and introduced myself and gave her the lowdown on our situation. She e-mailed me back almost immediately and seemed super friendly... she invited me to the bake sale they are doing on Monday and I think I will go! I am hoping that the FRG group is waaaaay better than the unit wives. Fingers crossed!

Now, onto my musings. I have never lived on a military installation until now. So much of it is relatively normal. We live in a subdivision (I can hear my friends back home laughing now... I have a thing with subdivisions) and there are barking dogs and the occasional siren. Just like home. But then there are the Apache helicopters flying in formation and doing maneuvers, all of which you can see from our house. Not normal. And I drove past the Division HQ today to see the casing of the colors ceremony as it was happening. I don't get to see ponies or that many flags on a normal day. And I still haven't gotten used to the max 40 mph speed limit. That is SLOW. And the whole trumpets-playing-into-the-PA-system thing twice a day is definitely different too. Oh, yeah, and fumbling to get my ID out as I am approaching the Main Gate. I always seem to forget that I am going to need that!

But things here are good. I don't understand why it is so cold out... we are over 1,000 miles due South of where we live and one would think it would be significantly warmer here. I'm glad I packed a coat! And let me say this too: This is one windy place. Chicago's got nothing on this joint! Swiss and I are going to put up some twee Christmas decorations tonight because I just couldn't stand the bare walls and lack of holiday decor. I think there is some hot cocoa spiked with Bailey's in my future... hooray for that!

Anyway, happy Wednesday internets and thanks to all of you who knew just what to say to lift my spirits yesterday. Y'all did me a world of good! :)

09 December 2008

The other shoe.

Okay, how many of you saw the Sex and the City movie? Do you remember the part where Carrie confronts Charlotte (who recently found out she was pregnant) about not running anymore? And then Charlotte said something that broke my heart (and hit home BIG TIME): She was afraid to run because everything in her life was so good. She had a wonderful husband who loved her dearly, and beautiful family, and knowing that bad things happen to good people all the time, she was afraid to do anything (even the things she loved, like running) that may put her pregnancy in jeopardy. She was waiting for the other shoe to drop. (And yes, that was me, the one sobbing at that point in the movie.)

And I ask you readers: Is this normal? Waiting for the other shoe to drop? Do any of you feel like this? Because let me tell you this: I do.

Honestly, my life is SO much better than I ever thought it would be. Swiss is a truly amazing person... and I am lucky enough to call him my husband and best friend. I cannot imagine being any happier than I am right now. I have a good job, I have an incredible family, I have lovely friends. I have a home, I have my health, I have a comfortable, happy, wonderful life. It makes me acutely aware of how fragile life is, how tenuous our hold on this life can be. Which makes me wonder when the other shoe will drop. And that terrifies me.

I am sure there are some of you who will tell me to not worry about things that may not happen, not to dwell on the unknown, or worry about things I cannot change. And you are right. 100% right. But the thing is that I see so many stories about wonderful, good people who get cancer and die far, far too early, I can't ignore that soldiers are still dying in this war, and I can't get past that fact that sh*tty things happen to good, kind, incredible people all the time.

What makes me immune? What keeps Swiss safe?

What is preventing that other shoe from dropping? Faith? God? Luck? Fate? All of the above?

And then I wonder about tempting the higher power or "fate" or whatever it is... it is hard enough to get through this life unscathed. But what about sending your husband off to war? Doesn't that change the odds? Knowing that a loved one has a history of cancer? Doesn't that too change your odds? At what point are the odds stacked against you? Do we just hope and pray that we are the lucky ones? And how do you find comfort in hoping to be lucky???

Gaw, if you think about this stuff too much you will drive yourself mad. And reading too many stories of families who have lost so much will make you paranoid. I might be there. I promise: I am generally not neurotic, I am not one who loves to create drama that isn't there. But how, dear readers, do you separate yourself from these sad tales? How do you not let them hit home?

How do you not worry that some day, it might be you?

08 December 2008


I just wanted to send a shout-out to Kimba for linking to me on her blog. And I want to say a big Thank You for all of those who stopped by and shared your stories. It is so nice to know there are so many wonderful ladies like each you out there and that we can all support one another through whatever comes our way. Few things in this military life can be counted on, so three cheers to all of you!

Thanks again and Happy Monday!

07 December 2008

Do better.

For those who know me outside of the blogosphere, they are familiar with my favorite go-to phrase for folks who are either lame, incompetent, greatly lacking in a trait deemed necessary or just plain stupid. That phrase is this: Do better. (Generally said in a defeated tone with loads of exasperation in your voice. It's more effective that way.)

It actually works in many situations. Someone cut you off? Do better. Incompetent co-worker? Do better. Get the wrong order from the drive-through? Do better. Dog has an accident in the house? Do better. It works for just about everything and I find it quite handy. Plus it helps me reign in my cursing.

I hear you asking why the dissertation on my catch-phrase of choice? Aaah, because we had our first unit event. It was a Hail and Farewell held at a very classy location. Think wings, cleavage and tight orange spandex shorts. Swiss and I get there early and meet the man of the hour who was more busy programming his new cell phone than talking to people. Do better. Then we meet the guy who Swiss is replacing in a few months. Now that is one squared away guy, he was cordial and inquisitive and very polite. 1-1. Not too bad so far.

Here's where it gets interesting. The fellows with wives start showing up. We all do our polite introductions and everyone knows that Swiss is the new guy, ergo I am the new girl. And you know what? Not a single wife came over to talk to me. Not one. There were 7 of them. Yes, in fact that would be 7 Do Betters. (1-8) Now I certainly wasn't looking for new best friends or even someone to have coffee with, but I did expect some amount of interaction. Maybe I put them off somehow, but honestly I think I am pretty approachable and rather friendly. There were even 2 moments when Swiss went to the restroom... and I sat there by myself and not a one took the opportunity to talk to me. Even the Senior guy's wife didn't even try to strike up a conversation... and she's been to school for this stuff... etiquette courses and all! But I digress.

We lasted all of about 2 hours (which was honestly about 1 1/2 hours too long) and only Swiss's replacement talked to us and seemed to be the only one capable of talking about anything other than riding motorcycles. We don't ride motorcycles and we don't have a Harley-Davidson so we weren't cool enough to participate in any conversations. I wish I was exaggerating. And heaven forbid we talk about anything else. In fact at one point, Swiss's replacement asked him why/how he got into writing. The senior guys says, "You're into riding!?!" Swiss says "No, writing." Response? "Oh, never mind, I don't want to talk about THAT." Do better.

Final tally? 15 Do betters. (out of 16 no less)

I think more than anything, I was a shocked at the complete lack of couth. The lack of social skills, the lack of friendliness, the lack of effort. Swiss and I left and on the way home we talked about how disappointing it all was and how un-welcome it made us feel. How am I supposed to count on these women during the deployment if they wouldn't even talk to me? How are we supposed to form a well-functioning unit at work and in the homes if people aren't even willing to extend basic politeness?

So yes, it looks like as far as an Army based support group for this deployment? I'm going it alone. Thank heavens for my friends, my family, this wonderful thing called the internets, and you dear readers. I know there aren't many of you, but you are very much appreciated!

05 December 2008

The joy of cooking.

Since I am officially not working due to a sabbatical from BigHospital I have felt it necessary to stay relatively busy. And yes, "busy" does include time on the internet, reading home decor and cooking magazines, and most certainly includes quality time with the Food Network. Ina and Alton are my friends... only they don't know me...

Anyway, the best part of not working? The time and energy to cook real, tasty, big meals. I am loving it. And that is saying something since all we have is a tiny galley kitchen. We have an awesome gas range which I am loving and I packed just enough kitchen utensils, pots & pans to keep the dishes coming. It is gooood.

Last night? Killer enchiladas. I used an Emeril recipe but boiled chicken instead of roasting a pork butt. (I said butt.) The night before? Garlic herb pork tenderloin with roasted veggies and quinoa (our new favorite grain- try it, you'll dig it). Next week, my intention is to roll on over to The Pioneer Woman and steal a bunch of recipes for dinner.

Anyway, I've never had so much fun cooking and it's been the second best part of this time off. Of course the first is getting oodles of extra time to hang out with that handsome soldier of mine. Did I mention that said handsome solider has one heck of an appetite? That helps too!

Anyway, have a splendid weekend Internets! Go eat some quinoa!

04 December 2008


Apparently there are many stages of packing when readying for a deployment.

This I did not know.

We just completed one such stage. And I can say with utter certainty that I did not like it. Not one bit.

See, actually buying items and packing them for such a specific reason & purpose has the unwanted side-effect of really hitting the point home. He is leaving. Not yet, but soon. And it makes my heart heavy, it makes my stomach sink, and it makes my tear ducts really, really want to go into overdrive (but I am getting waaay better at controlling that. I swear.).

I know it is inevitable and that there is nothing to be done to stop it. There is a cause and a need greater than me; and my brave, wonderful, amazing husband will answer the call and make this world a better place. That is something that makes me so proud of him and so proud of our country. But Good Lord I am going to miss that man.

So my resolution is this: Make the most of the time we have now. Savor every moment to the fullest. Soak in the things I will miss most... how he smells after a shower, how my hand feels in his, how wonderful it feels to snuggle up with him, his laugh, his smile, heck... everything about him. Sear every moment into my memory so that I can hold them close when I cannot hold him close. And help him pack.

03 December 2008

Life on Post.

HOORAY! I am finally down south with Swiss after two pseudo-Thanksgivings with the families and a real Thanksgiving at a Cracker Barrel somewhere in middle-America.

Life on post is good. Our digs are fine... lots of white walls and odd brown carpeting but they are clean and cozy and life is good with our new HDTV and air mattress bed. It's like posh camping or something. And as you can see... we FINALLY have internet. Double Hooray!

It's been a bit of a trip getting used to living on post. Something I suspect most of you are already familiar with. But it is good. The PX is swell and the Commissary is good too... so many groceries so little time! The things I haven't gotten used to yet? Max speed limits on post of 40 mph. Hundreds of people that look just like Swiss from a distance (ha!). The blaring of "Reveille" throughout the PA systems at 6:30 sharp every weekday and "Retreat" at 5pm sharp every weeknight.

But I will say that I am LOVING all the extra time with Swiss. We get a nice breakfast together after morning PT... generally get to eat lunch together and then all night just hanging out like the normal folks. It is grand.

We got word about the deployment and that is good. Not good that he has to go, but good that we now know details and can make arrangements. His new unit is interesting to say the least and I am sure, like every deployment story I've ever heard, things will change. But I digress, life is good and I'm really liking being a housewife!

Until later... Happy Holiday Season Internets!

21 November 2008

Hostage no more!


I got the approval from my most fabulous employer BigHospital to start my leave on Monday thanks to an amazing supervisor and some creative thinking. Swiss leaves (in theory) tonight to come get me(!!!). I could not be happier or more excited to get on with this chapter of our lives. I am excited to see what living on post is like... have my own firsts at the commissary and meet other MilSpouses. I am excited to be with Swiss for the longest continual stretch we have ever had. (And I will be honest, I am thrilled to escape the ever tightening grip of the bitter winter that has descended upon us here in the Midwest). So, South I go... on to new adventures and time with my incredible husband.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone- I know I will!

19 November 2008


I have a confession to make: My life is being held hostage by the Army. I hear you laughing. I know you've all been here before and it isn't anything new. But it is new to me! Goodness gracious. Talk about not being in control of your own life.

As I mentioned before, my current employer is giving me a large chunk of FMLA time off to be with Swiss before he departs for the Sandbox. And Swiss warned me that everything would happen FAST when he got down to his new post. So I planned and prepared, made lists and packed up my clothes, most of my kitchen goods, and all of my art supplies... got things in order at work, delegated my duties, warned everyone. I was PREPARED! I am an Army wife for crying out loud!

And here I sit.

Luggage and laundry baskets filled with household good are all piled up neatly in the middle of the living room. Folks are already taking over my duties at work.

And still, I sit.

Why? Because there is one piece of paper that I need to get my FMLA leave going. Just one. And we don't have it. Swiss has been on post for over 2 weeks now. Still no paper. Maybe the paper is what is being held hostage?!? Do you think there is a ransom for it? WHATEVER IT IS... I WILL PAY IT!!!

Anyway, I am sitting and waiting, and waiting only somewhat patiently with everything packed up. Waiting for ONE piece of paper. And now the word is it may not come until next week. (And we all know how Holiday weeks go don't we?) Oh heavens. Funny how so much can hinge on one little piece of paper...

Okay. Vent over. Thank you for listening.

13 November 2008

Project Valor-IT

Okay, dear readers, I am sure you all are already aware of Project Valor-IT. But, in case you aren't... go check it out and try to add a bit to their totals. It's such a good cause and it is so important... I knew nothing about it until I saw it over at Butterfly Wife's site (Thanks BW!) and I am so glad she posted about it... so now I am doing the same.

Donate under your appropriate "Team" (GO ARMY!) and every cent will go towards helping a wounded soldier stay connected and communicate with friends and family. It's a great cause!

Go check it out already!!!! Project Valor-IT. GO!


They say ignorance is bliss. And while that may be true... it seems that more often than not, ignorance is hateful, ignorance is harmful, ignorance is the loudest kid in the crowd.

I was over at a favorite website today, The Big Picture, and in honor of Veteran's day the author posted pictures of troops entrenched in the mountains of Afghanistan. They were amazing photographs, action shots, images of the troops, pictures of the locals... all with captions and descriptions.

They were moving. They were incredible and they were sobering.

I scrolled down to read the comments folks had left. Most were about the photographs only, some were thankful of our troops, and a fair share were ignorant. Some of those were mean. Some were downright hateful. Most folks turned it into a discussion about politics or foreign policy. But some were attacking our men and women over there. Name calling even.

I couldn't help but wonder what made these people feel this way? What were they told to incite such strong emotions? How can people NOT separate their feeling about the politics & policies of the war from their feelings about our Troops and fellow Americans? Even when I wasn't a MilSpouse I was always able to separate my feelings about the war from my feelings about our Troops. I can't fathom how or why others cannot do this... it boggles my mind and it scares me how hateful and spiteful people can be towards the very folks who are protecting their right to speak loudly, speak openly and speak freely all from the comfort of their safe homes.

Absolutely mind boggling.

12 November 2008


Today is the day.
Today is the day we find everything out... the Army is going to stop keeping secrets from us for just a little while and the anticipation is killing me!
Am I anxious? Yes. Am I nervous? Heck yes. Am I scared? A little. Am I excited to get word so I can finally go see Swiss? Hell-to-the-yeah!

So, wish us luck... keep your fingers crossed, send a shout-out the to Man Upstairs and hope for a safe assignment (as safe as one could be) and for good news.

Happy Wednesday Internets!

UPDATE: We have housing! Hooray! We got us some on post housing and that is stellar. They totally came through for us and I am relieved that this portion of the equation is completed. Now we wait for the big stuff...

11 November 2008

Thank you.

Thank you to all of those who serve, all of those who have served.
Bravely and honorably.
Thank you to those of you who have put your most precious commodity on the line for your country, your families, your neighbors, for strangers and for freedom.
Thank you to the families who have stood behind their soldiers and supported their missions.
And Thank You to Swiss, my husband, my soldier and my veteran. I am so proud of you, so proud of what you do and who you are. I love you.
Thank you.
Photos courtesy of Flickr.

09 November 2008

Do better.

Just a weeeee bit of a vent.

The lodging folks down at Fort X gave Swiss only 2 days in the post's temporary lodging. He was supposed to have 10. Two! They only gave him TWO! So now he has to check out before he even in-processes(no vacancies to be sure...) and since tomorrow is a holiday the Housing Office isn't open to help find a solution. Which means finding last-minute accommodations in unfamiliar territory. Lovely. Oh yeah, and did I mention that he can't in-process until Wednesday? (But mind you he just HAD to be down there by Monday.) Brilliant. Ooh! I almost forgot... his commanding officer isn't around or even remotely available. And won't be until next week. So we won't even know what is assignment is until approximately Lord-knows-when.

I don't know how normative all of this is. I just expected a bit better I guess. And it is doubly frustrating because I am 1,000+ miles away and can do precisely SQUAT about it. Not even bake cookies... cookies make everything better.

Anyway, feel free to tell me to get over it... tell me this is normal... or, even better, tell me your stories! Either way I am sure it will make me feel better!

This concludes my vent. Thank you for listening.
UPDATE: Thankfully Swiss' temporary housing has been extended and the Housing Office IS open today. So we will see what there is available and hopefully get one more thing checked off the list. Fingers crossed! (PS- Did you know that even though I am in DEERS and have my military ID the Housing Office still want to see the official marriage license? Madness I tell you! Madness!!!!)

07 November 2008

Temporary lodging.

Task: Find temporary lodging.

Sounds simple, no? So I started me search on-line. Got lots of numbers. Tried to look at lots of pictures... but then the little nagging voice in the back of my nugget got louder and louder... Are we going to get taken advantage of? What part of town to live in? What if we end up in a bad part? How big? How nice? Furnished house/apartment? Corporate lodging? Extended stay hotels? Or... is there an option on post? How much to spend? Who can we trust??????

Answer to all of the above: D. I don't know. (PS: I HATE not knowing. You can imagine how well this trait pairs with being a MilSpouse... ha!)

Frankly, the concept of furnished apartments creeps me out. I have no idea why. Maybe because it seems like other people's stuff? I don't know. Most are probably better than the average hotel. Swiss had a furnished apartment that was very nice when we first met. This unreasonable paranoia, coupled with my minorly anal retentive tendencies, and the fact that I don't really trust anyone trying to sell me anything is making this quite daunting.

Gaw... I sound like I have issues! I swear... I'm not this neurotic about everything. You are going to have to trust me on this one.

It's just that we have worked hard to have a nice home, to have that comfortable AO, and I'll be honest: I am insanely attached to my sofa. And my bed. So having to bid adieu to all the creature comforts of home just isn't all that thrilling. Now, being back with Swiss? BEYOND THRILLING!

So, have any of you had to jump into the pool of temporary lodging? Any tips? Any red flags to look for? Or is this just a case of $=nice? Help!!!

And Chapter 2 ends.

It snowed last night. First snow of the coming winter. I awoke to wet sidewalks and a white yard. It is still snowing now. A fitting beginning to a new chapter: Swiss is on his way to his new post as we speak. And I am at work with puffy eyes and a red nose. Curse those pesky tears.

I already miss him, but if all goes as we suspect it will, we should be back together in a few weeks. I am trying to be upbeat about it all, but as you know all too well, it is never easy to watch the one you love drive/fly away. And while I don't think I will ever get used to it, or get any better at it for that matter, leaving is a part of our military lives like it or not.

Thankfully I have one of many great friends who is taking me shopping and out to dinner tonight to keep my mind off the lonely and empty house waiting for me. And even better, my mom is coming up this weekend to hang out and keep me company. I hate empty houses.

My next task is getting the household ready for a leave of absence. Oh, and I have to find some furnished apartments for when we are both at the new post. I don't suspect I can live in the temporary quarters Swiss will be provided with. PS: does the idea of a furnished apartment creep anyone else out? I'm saying we go high on this one and avoid any potentially sketchy digs. Other task: keep myself together as much as I can. I am no good at goodbyes.

Anyway, that is all I have. Have a great weekend Internets!

06 November 2008


Swiss leaves tomorrow. Off to the sun and dust of a state down south. I got my official Military ID (Wow- not a flattering photo AT ALL.) and got all registered and such. It's kind of surreal packing him up and emptying out drawers... I just pray that his trip down is safe and that I can rejoin him soon. I hope your week is going well Internets and take care!

31 October 2008


So for those of you who may not know... Swiss is PCS-ing in a few days. Just Swiss. His unit is slated to deploy in mere months (assuming his assignment goes as planned) so it doesn't make much sense for me to sell the house, up and move South too, no family, no job, no Swiss. So I am sticking it out here in the Midwest until he and his unit comes home from the Sand.

I hate this.

I feel a bit like things finally got figured out. We made it official, we lived together like a normal couple, we settled in. We made a home together. And now he is leaving. Hrrmph.

Now before I start pouting too much, my employer BigHospital is all over FMLA. They are giving me up to 3 months (assuming his unit is still stateside in 3 months) of leave to go be with him down South. Words cannot describe how incredible that is. Of course even that has it's issues (read: mortgage payments without employment!) but it will all be worth it.

Anyway, that is the update. That is where we stand... Welcome to the Army!

30 October 2008

Army Wife I am.

Hello Internets!!!

I am back... the honeymoon was lovely and I am officially an Army Wife now. The PCS is looming (read 5 days away) and our time together is getting short. This I do not like. I am prone to bouts of tears when I think about not being able to curl up next to him at night, etc, etc. But I am trying to focus on the positive (the wedding was great... things with us are wonderful) and not dwell on the twee details the Army's plans for him.

Right now, our biggest problem is 8th grade algebra. Yes, 8th grade. I suck at math. Swiss Jr. brought home 20+ algebra problems and our attempts to help just gave us shocking proof how quickly this stuff leaves you when you don't need it for a test next week!

Anyway, I hope all is well with you all and I'm glad to be back! Take care and any algebra-related tips would be greatly appreciated! :)

15 October 2008

It begins.

Okay- the madness that is our wedding officially begins today with the arrival of my dearest Mom and her best friend (my second Mom) Carolyn. HOORAY! So I am signing off for a few weeks. We are off to wine country for the honeymoon and I will get back to blogging when we return... likely after Swiss' PCS move in early November. Boo hiss.

I'm off to become Mrs. Swiss and I couldn't be happier! Fingers crossed for good weather and thanks for all your well wishes! Take care internets! :)


13 October 2008

My Guardian.

Here she is. She is the Delphic Sybil. Her home is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. She spoke to me (not literally) when I was 22... on a trip to Europe with my wonderful mother.

I saw the fierceness, the strength in her gaze. I saw her fearlessness. And all these years later (okay, not that many, like 8) she has become my guardian. When I see her, I see someone watching over me, watching over Swiss. Someone who may or may not know the future, but someone who would be willing to step up to any challenge that comes our way.

She also said some pretty wise things. Aside from foreseeing the fall of Troy, the rise of kings, the outcomes of wars, she said this:

"make your own nature, not the advice of others, your guide in life."

She was a pretty smart lady.

07 October 2008

New family.

New families are a trip.

Swiss' family is great. But man are they different. Waaaaay different than my family. They are bigger (number, not size!). They aren't really "talkers", I am from a loooooong line of talkers. I am an only child. Swiss is the youngest of six(!!!!!). The list goes on... So getting to know their quirks has been a bit of an up and down roller-coaster... Even more so now with a reasonably major family drama that has sprouted up. But sometimes different can be good. You can learn a lot from different, no? However, there are times when different is just difficult.
I can't decide where we are at now... difficult or different. It will suffice to say that differences really come out when the stakes get high. And they are pretty high right now.
I trust that everything will work out okay and that at the end of the day, as long as Swiss and I end up husband and wife... the day will be a success... Right?
Gawd I hope so!
Have a great weekend internets! :)

02 October 2008

A fortnight.

Dude. (yes, I did just say "Dude")

We get married in 2 weeks. That is bananas (maybe even Bananas Foster! Yum!). Everyone is asking me if I am nervous. Lord no! I am not nervous! I am marrying the man of my dreams. Come on people! Oh, and pending deployments tend to put things into perspective, no? Now THAT is something to be nervous about!

Anyway, it is good to have the dress greens in the closet, and the ruck sacks have now made their way into storage downstairs. It feels like home again and that is good. Things are blissfully uneventful around here (save random family drama that we are trying to dodge) and it is grand.

Now for a random thought to ponder: What is your favorite highly-processed food? Mine is Velveeta. Yes, Velveeta by a mile.

Have a stellar weekend Internets! :)

01 October 2008

Swiss has landed.

Swiss is home... with all his gear. Lawdy that guy has a lot of stuff (I however should not talk... I have TOO much stuff!) and it is all sitting squarely in the middle of the living room. I love it! (However it should be noted that the TV and Cable can't be turned on with all of the ruck sacks in the way. That HAS to change before Project Runway comes on tonight! I mean it!!!)

Anyway, posting will likely be light during the next month. I want to soak up all the extra time I can with Swiss... but I promise to check in and let y'all know what is going on. P.S. - The wedding is in almost 2 weeks! Hollah!

Okay, have a great rest of the week Internets... see you soon!

28 September 2008

Chapter one.

So "Chapter One" of our life is coming to a close... Swiss moves from his ROTC post this Monday and we will be ending our dating/engaged life in a matter of weeks. The PCS is looming, as is the deployment. Life is changing... big time.

As I reminisce I can't get over how much has changed, with me, with Swiss, with our relationship and our lives in the last year plus.

Just over 14 months ago I has just bought my first house. I was happy, if not a little lonely... but I had my job, my friends, my hobbies... I was doing pretty good for myself. And then I met Swiss on a whim. After a few little speed-bumps we went on our first date July 24th. And I knew. I knew that was the last first date I would ever go on. I knew that he was exactly the man I described to my best friend Beth when she asked me EXACTLY what kind of guy I was looking for. I was looking for Swiss.

And here we are... with a bounty of changes on our horizon. We will be Mr. & Mrs. Swiss in just a few short weeks. We will have a whole month of being "normal" (by that I mean actually living in the same state, zip code, and home) together. We have a PCS in a matter of weeks and more than likely a trip to the Sandbox in the next few month. Both of which I am dreading... not just because it means a deployment, but because it means so much time away from Swiss. I hate time away from him. He makes me feel whole... feeling not-whole isn't much fun.

But as I look back on this past year (plus) I am always in awe of the joy, the happiness I have found, we have found. I am blown away by the changes and unexpected events that have come our way. I am proud of the challenges we have overcome. I am comforted and elated by the contentment, the respect, the friendship and the love we share.

So here is to Chapter One. You were great. You were bursting with surprises, you were stocked with fun and memories, and you were full of firsts.

You were the beginning of the rest of our lives.

25 September 2008

She's alive!!!

Good news!

My dear little iMac is alive. She is healed up and doing great... she thanks you all for your well wishes. I get to bring her home tonight, all fresh and new.


Bad news... $400 worth of repairs. Bah. And now I am phobic so I need to go get an external hard drive. Double Bah! Anyway, do any of you have recommendations? What do you do to back up your computer???

22 September 2008


So posts have been slow for the last week. I know, but I have a good reason why:

My iMac is sick. She might be dying (gasp!). This makes me so very sad. And nervous... there's lots to be lost on that there iMac. Anyway, send her your get well wishes and toss out your magic computer fixing vibes to the Mac-Fix-It-Guy in town. I'll be back up and running, hopefully, soon.

In other news... Swiss left again. I am bummed out as usual. It boggles my mind how the leaving never gets easier, no matter how much you practice. But the week together was great... he'll be home again soon, this time for a month before the dreaded PCS... and that's a whole 'nother story. But hey, let's not forget the wedding in 3 weeks!

This is the soon-to-be Mrs. Swiss signing off... have a great week Internets!

17 September 2008


So Swiss is home this week. He has a one week pass to go deer hunting and hang out with his beloved. And it has been wonderful. All sorts of alone time, family time, just hanging out time, go out to dinner and run errands time, watch TV time even! I love it. What I don’t love, however, is that fact that my living room now looks like an IED that was made out of tree stands and clothes all packed into luggage went off square in the middle of my living room.

Boom. Fabric shrapnel has made a mess of my home.

It doesn’t make me mad though. It makes me giggle a bit, actually. See, I am not a neat-freak or super anal about cleaning (though I do have my bouts of both)… so I have been able to shrug it off for the most part, figuring it was only temporary. But this morning I had to trudge through the mess, in the dark, while trying not to sprain an ankle or ungracefully bite it face first into the coffee table, in high heels.

That was when I decided we might have to make tonight’s “us” time “cleaning” time. How utterly unromantic of me!

12 September 2008

Guilty pleasure.

Project Runway. I am a sucker for it. I have been since the very first season. Hopelessly addicted... That's me.

And today the Season 5 finalists had their Bryant Park collections shown! And I have been glued to the computer waiting to see the collections before the final... see, I hate secrets! Anywhoodles, I will post more when the complete collections are up on the net.

Happy Friday Internets!

UPDATE: Here they are... thanks to Tom and Lorenzo.

09 September 2008


My Mum is in town for the week. I will try very hard not to use this as an excuse to slack off on the blog. We have lots of fun wedding stuff to get done and Swiss, being the Prince Charming that he is, is taking my mom and his out for a day of fun on Friday. Isn't he the best? Anyway, I will try to sneak some posts in this week... promise! Have a Happy Tuesday Internets!

I want to be a Pioneer Woman.

There is this woman. Her name is Ree. She is a super cool lady who used to lived in the big city, she fell madly in love with a rancher back home and moved out to the country. Now she home schools her kids, takes beautiful photographs, cooks some wicked recipes, and writes an AWESOME blog (I am sure she does lots more, but I'm trying to be succinct!). Confessions of a Pioneer Woman.

Seriously, she has the coolest life. Swiss and I totally want to move out west when his Army days are done. Only we won't be ranchers. Maybe we will just live next to one. Or three.

Anyway, Ree has a FANTASTIC cooking/recipe section and last night I made 2 of her recipes. One was so darned good I ate the whole thing. I literally could not stop eating it. The other was mighty tasty too... So I thought I would pass them on to you and tell you to go check her out. She is cool. And she is coming out with a cookbook soon. Ree Rocks.

Crash Hot Potatoes: Super yummy and crunchy. I love me some potoatoes... so this was right up my alley. Crunchy potatoey goodness.

Fresh Corn Casserole: SHUT UP. This was insane. I ate the whole thing. I made it with a combination of canned and frozen corn because I am not yet a Pioneer Woman with fresh corn at my disposal. It still rocked. Big time.

Anyway, that is all I have to say about that. Hope y'all have a super day!

07 September 2008


I have a silly habit. I will only admit it to the likes of you ladies, those of you who know what it is like to be away from your DH for more than just a business trip or a weekend with the guys. Here it goes...

I sleep in Swiss's t-shirts when he leaves.

I know that doesn't sound so bad. But you see, it's not the clean ones in the drawers. It's the ones he just wore this weekend. Yes, I sleep in Swiss's dirty laundry. I know. Gross. But there is something about the smell of Swiss and dryer sheets that is positively intoxicating. Not to mention it is the same wondorous smell that I am greeted with every time I see Swiss, that would be when I burry my head into the nook of his neck and shoulder... same smell. And I love it. As sappy as this sounds, it makes me feel like he is there in bed when he is hundreds of miles away. His arms might not be there to surround me, he may not be there to curl up with, but at least it smells like he is there. It might not be a lot, but hey, I'll take whatever I can get.

Now you know one of my dirty (literally!) secrets. Do y'all have any of these silly quirks?

Alone time.

No, this isn't about being left alone when Swiss heads back to his current post (although it does suck, always will. And somehow it never gets easier... sigh).

This is about having a whole 28 hours to ourselves. Alone. No family. No responsibilities. No one else to attend to other than each other. And it was fantastic. We spent so much time curled up with one another I was a twee bit worried we might begin to physically grow together. And it was blissful! It is times like these that make me so sure that we are meant for one another, that we really are each other's perfect match. We get along so well, we have so much fun, we have so much love and admiration and respect for one another. There is so much affection and tenderness, so much support and comfort... and we don't need anyone else or anything else to keep us happy and content: just each other. He's the One. And it makes me so giddy to have found him!

PS: I finished two paintings this weekend... I will post the pictures this week! :)

04 September 2008

Changing the pace.

With Swiss on his cross-country trek with the government van I will have some extra time this weekend. Time that I can do whatever I please with (don't be mistaken though... I would SO rather be with Swiss!). So what shall I do?

I think I shall paint. I am a not-so-closeted artist... but I really haven't had time with all that has been going on... any ideas for what I should paint?

These are just a few of the things I have done in the last year... now I just need some inspiration! Happy Friday Internets!

03 September 2008


I cannot thank you all enough! And I can't possibly thank Butterfly Wife enough for sending you all here (she's the best!).

Your kind words and support and the fact that you were all willing to reach out to a stranger to lend whatever comfort and encouragement you could is incredible.

So thank you... from the bottom of my heart.


Image courtesy of russmorris over at flickr.com

01 September 2008

Deal with it.

I know I need to deal with all the uncertainties of military life. I know I need to come to terms with the fact that Swiss and I are the only ones who care about our lives. The Army most certainly does not.

But I can't help but be bummed about a whole day lost. It seems to be happening a lot lately. Swiss got up this morning, administered a PT test and was told that he had the rest of the day off. And I sat at home, watched TV, visited a friend, and generally did nothing special with my day. Only it would have been special if Swiss and I were together... it always is. Heck, if we would have known I would have driven back to the college with him last night. But no. Not to be. So I am bummed.

31 August 2008

Empty House.

Swiss left today. No Labor Day off at the college. In fact, he gets to do a PT test tomorrow morning. I am bummed. I love long weekends with Swiss... Shucks. But we did have a wonderful weekend. I always feel lucky to have him, to have met him... but we had the most romantical Saturday. It was a beautiful summer night, not too hot, not too humid. We went to dinner downtown... someplace new, enjoyed the wine and the food and the company, then we walked over to a little bistro for our favorite dessert and wine... we came home and made a fire (in the super swell firepit he surprised me with a few weeks ago!) and we wrote our wedding vows. I swear, I am the luckiest girl on this planet. And not a moment goes by that I don't know it.

But now the house is empty again. It is sometimes hard to fathom how the house I bought on my own, the house that was so homey and perfect with just me in it, now feels cold and cavernous with just me in it. It feels less like home without Swiss. And that sucks.

Anyway, I will spend my day off watching the Army Wives marathon and trying to hone my drawing skills (thanks to Swiss and him buying me loads of art supplies and books and everything I could ever need to be a happy artist- he's the BEST!).

Have a great Labor Day internets!

28 August 2008

Finding out. (its a long one...)

So my previous post got me thinking about when we found out that Swiss was going to have to deploy. I remember that very moment so clearly. We were in a government van driving out to Fort Lewis. We were in Wyoming. We had just left Devil's Tower National Park and it was raining. And his phone rang. We pulled over and Swiss answered it. I knew it was someone important. I knew it was a serious matter. And then Swiss said "I understand Sir". And I knew exactly what was happening.

But let me back up a bit. Swiss was, and still is, at a ROTC position in the Midwest. He's been there for almost 3 years, the norm for this post. He had asked for an extension since he is so close to retirement and this current post has him close to his family and his 13 year old son. I was hoping beyond all hope that he would get it. Actually, I was sure he would get it. The power of positive thinking is what I told myself.

When he said "I understand Sir" I knew he didn't get the extension. And it was like a punch to the gut. In that very moment I knew that my life as I knew it would forever change. I would have to fumble through a whole litany of emotions and experiences that were totally new to me. And I knew I would have to do it alone for the most part since no one I knew was military and we live nowhere near a base. I knew I would have to put MY most precious commodity in harm's way. I knew I would experience fear like I had never known it before. I knew I would have to be stronger than I ever had before. But all I could do was cry. The tears came and they wouldn't stop.

Swiss got off the phone and told me what happened. We knew he would go to an Infantry unit, one that was sure to deploy. It was little consolation that his rank would keep him "safer" than he was the last time he went to the Sand. I cried, quietly, staring out the windshield into the rain (that sounds so cliché, doesn't it? It's the truth, I swear!). I tried to make the tears stop but they just wouldn't. Swiss asked me why I was crying, we knew this was coming. I didn't know what to say. My chest felt tight, my voice wouldn't form the words I wanted to say. I just cried. Finally, I was able to say that I didn't know it was coming. I was avoiding it, I wasn't prepared, I thought it wouldn't happen. Swiss didn't understand why it hit me so hard. But he had been through this before, I hadn't. We talked for a bit, he began to understand where I was coming from. My tears slowed to a trickle. We pulled back on to the Highway and drove to Montana that night. There were still tears during the rest of the drive, but I tried desperately to hide them from Swiss. I knew it was already hard on him, seeing me so upset would only make it worse. I got my first lesson on taking one for the team, for being strong when it was the last thing I wanted to do. I sucked it up as best I could.

We went out to dinner and a movie in Billings that night. We pretended like everything was okay, ignoring the deployment that was now looming over us. But that night I began to look at my time with him in a completely different light. Now those tender moments together weren’t just blissful, they were a commodity that was now soon to be fleeting, something to be coveted and cherished. We then did the only thing I know to do when things get hard. We got analytical. We sat down and made a list of all the bases, all the units he could possibly get assigned to. We looked at all the pro's and con's of each base, each unit, each potential choice. Light versus armored Infantry, Bradley versus Stryker, etc... We narrowed down the choices we would prefer, were we given a choice. And somehow that made me feel better.

We drove on to Missoula the next day, like nothing had happened. When the conversations slowed, my thoughts always went to the same place, and the slow, steady tears returned. I wore my sunglasses a lot those last days of the trip, even though it was always cloudy and rainy. Nothing was different, except that I held his hand tighter, I gazed at his face, his hands, his being longer, trying to sear every last detail into my brain, I held on to hugs longer, I drank every detail of every moment in. And I started praying again. I prayed that God would bring Swiss home safe and sound, get him and everyone else through this, bring him back the same man I will send away, keep me strong through it all.

We drove on to Seattle, filled our days with sightseeing and picture taking. We had a wonderful time. Then I had to leave, I got to the airport, said my goodbyes (which I have never been good at, I am a cryer, I can't help it). I went to my gate, sat down, and suddenly had nearly 8 hours of time to think ahead of me. Thoughts ran together, raced in my head. I was scared, I was clueless about the whole process and I knew it, I was terrified of what might happen, I was maybe even a little bit angry about losing so much control over our life.

When I finally got home, I did all I could think to do, call my mom and cry. Then I went to the library and did what any self-respecting scientist would do, I researched it. I got "While They're at War" by Kristin Henderson and it was a lifesaver. I started looking online for other military spouses and thankfully found SpouseBuzz… I say thankfully because they introduced me to the term "Anticipatory Greif" and let me know I wasn't crazy. I found Butterfly Wife and LAW and realized that I wasn't in this alone. I learned as much as I could about what I would need to know… and I am still learning.

The Sand.

I just read that LAW 's hubby has gotten word of a trip to the Sand. While I know this is the reality of military life, it still makes me sad. I makes me sad that someone else has to feel the lonelyness, the fear, the separation, the sadness of deployment. It makes me sad that another family will be forced to be apart, to miss out on all the little things. It makes me sad that someone else has to put their most precious commodity in harm's way for the benefit of the greater good. And reading her post brought up all sorts of feelings and emotions in me that I thought I had dealt with, at least for the time being.

So, to anyone else who is stading in the shoes of someone like LAW or myself: My heart and prayers are with you. We will all get through this. We will all be strong when we need to be, we will cry when we don't know what else to do, and we will endure. Most importantly, our loved ones will come home, safe and sound.

27 August 2008

Indecision '08.

Not a very clever title, I know, but so very appropriate!

I've been watching twee bits of the DNC on the telly, reading headlines in the news and of course watching the tidal waves of commercials between my intellectually stimulating television shows (hee!). And after all of that, combined with the primaries and the inundation of opinions and talking heads... I still haven't made up my mind.

I have NEVER been this undecided about a Presidential Freaking Election before. Every other time, even when I couldn't vote, I knew who my guy(gal) was. Not this time.

On every issue one is worse than the other... but it isn't ever the same guy. One step forward, one step back. I hate to even admit that I have thought about choosing not to vote. Which I think (maybe naively) is different than forgetting or not caring about the election process. I do care very deeply, I have worked on campaigns before, I understand all that has happened through history to allow us all the right to vote. But that's just it. It is a right. I have a right to vote, but I am not obligated. Especially when I don't feel as though I was given 2 quality candidates. I don't think either one will be GOOD for America. I don't think either have the answer to our economic issues, I don't think either has a viable plan for Iraq/Afghanistan/etc., I don't think either of them can make right what is wrong.

And I find that to be incredibly sad in this day and age. But I haven't made my mind up yet- just please don't hate me if I choose not to vote*.

*Note: I will still vote in the local & state elections... I just may sit out the Presidential part. See! I value my rights!! Promise!

26 August 2008


This girl is surly today. We got final word about Operation Vehicle Recovery. Not good. First I was sad, I still am, but now I am mad (which is no easy feat mind you). Not at Swiss, it isn't his fault and he can't do anything about it. But who can I get mad at? Can I get mad at the whole Army? Can I get mad at the IDIOT who left the van in Washington? Can I get mad at Swiss' Colonel? But I am getting ahead of myself...

See, the Powers That Be decided not only does Swiss have to go pick up this aforementioned MIA van, but he leaves on the 4th. Did I mention that my vacation day was the 5th? And did I mention that this is a 2,000 mile drive back? Now, math was never my strong suit, but it didn't take me long to figure out that not only did I lose my extra vacation day with him... I lost the whole weekend.

So now I am sad and mad and dissapointed and frustrated and a whole list of adjectives that won't help anything. That's the worst part- not being able to do a darned thing about it. So I will just subtract one more weekend from the few months we have left and sulk.

This is shaping up to be one stellar week...

Curse you Carrie Underwood.

Shame on you! You made me cry at work.

"Just a Dream" (found via GBear at SpouseBuzz)

Get your hankies ready if you dare watch this video...
Now this whole day is shot and I'm an emotional puddle. That's what I get for surfing the net on a break at work. Karma sucks.

25 August 2008


Well that took all of 4 hours.

Swiss now knows about "surprise" vacation number one.

And you won't believe how the cat got out of the bag. It would seem that someone from Swiss' brigade failed to drive back the brigade's government van from Warrior Forge in Fort Lewis, WA. Mind you this was over a month ago. And now someone has to fly out to Seattle to go get it and drive it nearly 2,000 miles home.


And oddly enough, the brigade has NOT chosen to make the IDIOT* who failed to complete his orders go get it. Nope. Swiss gets to go get it. And drive it 2,000 miles back.


So now Swiss knows that I took "surprise" time off. He had to know because as luck would have it, my vacation day is the same week of said Van Recovery Mission. But the second cat is still in the bag. For now...

*I am sure the fellow who did this is perfectly nice, however his choices in this matter have given me no other choice than to call him an idiot. If the shoe fits...

Image courtesy of maury.mcown on flickr.


Can I keep them secret? Not really.

Now don't get me wrong... I'm not the girl who blows the surprise birthday party, or the girl who can't keep a secret a friend shares, nor am I the girl who can't pull one off. But I have a hard time keeping good news from Swiss. I got a couple of extra days off from work next month... times when either I am going out to see Swiss or he will be here with me. He doesn't know I have the time off... and I SO want it to be a surprise!

But the real question is how long can I keep the secret hidden? How long until I burst from the excitement? How long until Swiss knows everything? (Apparently this means I have little to no will-power... a fact that is also evidenced by my waistline I suppose!)

I'm hoping that when I go to see him in two weeks, I can drive up there a day early and surprise him like he surprises me. And I'm hoping that the week he has off, I can "forget" to set the alarm for work and surprise him with 2 extra days of normal hanging out (imagine!).

So here's hoping I can keep it a secret. Maybe now that the internet knows, Swiss won't!

PS: Here's a little Holla! to Butterfly Wife: Thanks for making my day! :)

24 August 2008


So this weekend was my "Bachelorette Party" with my bestest friend Beth. We went down to Milwaukee (Holla!) to see the Counting Crows. It was excellent. Great concert, great seats, great company. We had a stellar time. But in order to have that stellar time with Beth, I had to give up precious time with Swiss. And I loathed it.

It is hard to know that I am not 100% in at times. It is hard to admit that I would rather be with him right now than anywhere else. And it is hard to come to terms with my emotions on this matter. I have done my best to say & do the right things to/for the people I love and care about so they don't think it is any reflection of my feelings towards them. Because it isn't. It's just me.

All I can think about when we aren't together are the many, many upcoming months that he and I will be apart. All the missed moments. All of the of the lonely nights. All of the solitude. All of the distance. And it kills me to lose any more of those moment together.

Time feels like it is moving so quickly now. We are nearing 2 months until the wedding, 3 until the PCS. And every moment feels like it is fleeting. All I want to do is slow things down, to reign it all in so that it stops feeling like it is spiraling out of control. And I just don't know how.

20 August 2008

Real Life.

Do you ever pause for a moment and look around at the life you are living and wonder how you got there? I don't even mean all of the military hoop-jumping and PCS-ing and deployment business that has become part of my "real life" since I met Swiss. Oddly that somehow seems more normal than the carry-overs from my life pre-Swiss.

I mean, do you ever look at the career you have and the places your career has put you in and say "How did I end up here?"

I went to school at BigHospital where I now work. I hated it. HATED it. I loathed the town, I had no friends, there was nothing to do... I just wanted out. And when I got out, there was not a good job to be had elsewhere. So I stayed. And somewhere along the way I bought a house. And got a promotion. And thankfully met Swiss (which would never have happened if I left). Somehow 5 years (!?!?!) later I am still here. Living in a town I don't love. Working a job I am ambivalent about at best. But blissfully happy in my personal life. I have a house I adore. A man I love. And stellar friends.

I don't know what to make of all that. There are a lot of cons... but so many good things too. I know one day we will have to leave this town, head for greener PCS-pastures. And then someday Swiss will retire and we will move wherever our whims take us. But for the time being... I can't help but wonder what my life could be like. If I were an artist. If I were an environmental biologist. Where would I live? Would I love my job? Would everything else be as good as it is now? Just things to think about I guess...

19 August 2008

the goodness.

What I am digging right now:

Sia "Breathe Me" I swear... that Coca-Cola comerical gets me every time. Damn those sports montages! But honestly, this is a beautiful song. Beautiful.

Michael Phelps. Seriously, how can anyone NOT love this guy?

Rhubarb Crisp. With vanilla ice cream. So good.

Etsy. I love everything about this site. (Especially TickledPinkKnits... she's doing a custom piece for me for the wedding!)

Jeans and tees. I hate our dress code at BigHospital. I so wish I could wear jeans and tees every day... oh what a happy girl I would be!


Swiss has been home for almost a whole week. (Is it sad that a week seems like a blissfully long time?) We went to softball games, I played, he cheered. We made dinner. We took post-work naps. We ran errands. We hung out with friends. We took a road trip. We stayed up too late watching the Olympics.

In short: We were normal.

I can't explain what a wonderful feeling it is to FEEL settled. And the best thing is that our settled is still pretty fantastic. While there is more litter in the kitchen... rogue socks in the living room... it was wonderful. I won't go on for fear of inducing vomiting. But it is good. I miss him already but I will see him soon, if only for a short time.

Next weekend brings a concert with my best friend... Counting Crows will be my "Bachelorette Party" sans any phallic symbols or "Sucks for a Buck". God bless Beth!

Olympics Induced Break

So the combination of Swiss being home on a short leave and the Olympics has conspired to soak up all my free time. I'm working on doing better...

06 August 2008

the goodness.

Fla-vor-Ice Freezer Pops. I'll take the purple and orange, Swiss will take the green and the blue. The pink and the red are up for grabs...

My iMac, iPod... iLove.

Chipotle. Carnitas, corn & tomatillo salsas, pinto beans, sour cream, cheese, lettuce. Heaven in a tortilla.

Merlot. (Honestly, pretty much any red wine... yum!)

Almost Famous. Beautiful, wonderful, sweet... and pithy. One of my all time favorites.

Empty Bed Syndrome.

It is early-ish in the morning. I was super tired last night. Went to bed at 10:30 looking forward to a blissful night of rest. Then I proceeded to sleep like poo.

If fear there were too many days in a row of a Swiss-occupied bed. Now it just seems empty and lonely. No one to snuggle up next to when I wake in the middle of the night. No one to keep me cozy under the covers. No one to wrap his arms around me.

I won't complain too much. He'll be back soon. But this morning I was cursing the Army just a little bit. I hope they feel just a twee bit guilty for my restless night... I know, I know. You can stop laughing now. Really.

05 August 2008

4 Day Passes are my Friend.

I love a good 4 day pass. This weekend? Great 4 day pass. We went to the new sushi restaurant in town. Yummy goodness. We drank wine. We spent time with family. We did yard work. We went to a movie. We did all the things normal couples do on normal weekends. And it was wonderful.

And then Swiss surprised me with a schmancy fire pit for the back yard. He even bought goodies for Smores and a bottle of Merlot. And we had a romantical night in the back yard where it all began. He's good. Real good.

Anyway, back to the grind with him at his ROTC post (Big week: New Captain!) and me at Stressful New Job. But it isn't so bad this time. I will get to see him soon... we are off to my parent's house next weekend for our wedding shower (its a couples shower so Swiss can share in the fun... ha!). Food! Presents! Uncomfortable moments when someone gives me lingerie with my father sitting next to us! Swell!

29 July 2008

The Flipside.

I am now in the inevitable funk that follows time with Swiss.

I am surly. I am sad. I am mad even.

I am so over the fact that being apart is more normal than being together.* I am tired of relying on cell phones and e-mail to have normal daily conversations. Conversations that should be had over a dinner table or while curled up together on a sofa. I am tired of having to plan life around the Army. I am tired of not wanting to sleep in my own bed because more often than not I am alone in it. I am tired of sucking it up and putting on a brave face.

Mostly, I am just tired of knowing that this- what we are doing right now, 5 days away, 2 days together- is as good as it is going to get for the next 2 years. That, internet friends, is depressing. And what's worse is that there isn't a damned thing anyone can do about it. Not me, not Swiss, no one.

Welcome to Army Life.

*No lectures needed about how we choose this, Hooah this, Hooah that. I get it. We chose this. That still doesn't make it any easier.

28 July 2008


And he is gone again.

Back to the home post. And back to the routine... 5 days away, 2 together. Sigh.

But this TDY has taught me this: No matter how hard it is now... it could always be worse. I used to bawl when Swiss would leave every week. I just hated the thought of a week without him, not coming home to him, not waking up to him. And believe me, I still hate it. But after two months apart, 5 days doesn't seem so bad, no?

My bestest and closest friend, Beth, said this summer was like Spring Training for the Deployment. And she is right. It is never easy to say goodbye, but it does help you gain some perspective and quite frankly help me keep my shit together. (Pardon my French.) Anyway, back to the grind we go.

I am off to gather info for the final Honeymoon plans... Hooray!


Swiss is home.

All is right with the world again...

24 July 2008


With Swiss gone for the last two months on TDY I've been holding things down here at the homestead. There has been wedding planning, honeymoon booking, softball playing, and the like. But I have totally been nesting for the last two weeks. There have been trips to Sherwin-Williams, a massive re-painting effort in the loft upstairs (that seems redundant, no?), a trip to IKEA ( love!), rearranging of furniture, new pictures on the wall... the list goes on. Oh, and I forgot to mention the attempt of moving our entire bedroom upstairs, getting half way moved, and realizing that there is NO way the mattress or box-spring would make it up the stairs. Sad.

And of course none of this is earth-shattering. It's just that I've never "nested" for someone else before. And I like it! I am so excited to have Swiss home, even if it is just for a few hours. Just knowing he is a reasonable drive away rather than an airplane ride makes it all so much better. Anyway, here's to nesting and here's to reunions!

09 July 2008

The New & The Same

So I started my new job today. Same BigHospital but new responsibilities, new challenges, new pace... and it is a position I have been working towards for the last 2 years. So it is good. I'm just a wee bit bummed because Swiss isn't here to celebrate with me. I miss him.

Tonight we should be toasting with some wine and a great meal... a leisurely walk through the neighborhood... something! But he is waaaaay out in Tacoma. And I am here squarely in America's Heartland. Which at this point is just plain frustrating. I am SO ready for Warrior Forge to be over. Seriously.

03 July 2008

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July!
Last year at this time Swiss and I were just getting to know one another over the phone as most summers send him to Warrior Forge. Same story this year... and the Army is making him work on the 4th no less! I can't wait until our first Fourth of July together... which won't be until 2011!

So I am off to celebrate with my family at the lake... have a happy 4th with your loved ones, remember those who serve us, remember all that is good about this wonderful country and celebrate!