30 November 2009

Lacking substance.

Dudes. I do not know what is up with my posting lately. I sort of feel like I can't gather my thoughts well enough to put any of them into a post of any pertinence whatsoever. It all comes out as whiny drivel. And that annoys me. When you annoy yourself you know you are doing something wrong, am I right?

But I digress.

This new routine (or lack thereof) has been a bit of a trip to get into (and by that I mean it's been HARD). New home, new schedule, people to work and live around, plus Swiss has had a new schedule and a variable one at that so it has been hard to get into a routine. I like routines... they seem to make the days go by faster. I think, if anything, this latest chapter in the deployment has helped me realize just how much I thrive on routine. Not that uber-anal-down-to-the-last-detail routine... just the sort of hey-this-is-my-plan routine. Of course I know routines change, whatever routine I get myself into when I get down to Fort X will inevitably change with Swiss's return. And it will change again when, God willing, Swiss retires from Army life. But I think all of that I can deal with, because it will be on my (our) terms. Not me trying my best to fit into someone else's routine.

Also, we are about to embark on an Army journey new to both of us... retirement. EVERYONE: KNOCK ON WOOD!!! Swiss puts in his papers this week. We will likely have to wait a month-ish to find out if we got approved or if we are in for another year, which also means in for another deployment (A'stan, obvs). I don't know if I should be optimistic or prepare for the worst. I don't know if our odds are anywhere near as good as we think they are. I don't know if I am really, truly prepared for it to not get approved. I don't know what the prospect of another deployment would do to me, to him, to us. We've been so focused on the future, the post-Army life, the general notion that he will get approved that if things didn't go our way- it would be a pretty devastating blow to both of us. But here we sit, waiting. Hurry up and wait. But rest assured, when the paperwork comes through, y'all will hear about it fast.

And tomorrow marks the last full calendar month that Swiss and I will have to be apart. Some days I felt like it would never come. I am so glad it is here, but also... what the hell took so long? A good friend recently had her homecoming. Another is about 2-ish weeks ahead of us. I am so excited for them, for us. But man, this is a long time coming. And it isn't going by fast enough!

Also, we still don't have housing on post. I'm hoping for word this week... mostly because I just want to have this planned and crossed off my list. Seriously. Swiss says I shouldn't worry because he got housing within a week when he first PCS'd down there. Nay, I say! My luck isn't that good! And I don't have the uniform card to play, which I am certain adds an air of urgency and importance. I'm just an Army Wife... on the phone. But hopefully we will get some digs and an address and a move in date and that will go a long way to restoring what little sanity I have left!

Oooh, and here's a fun one to add in just for kicks... (and peeps who actually know me, don't be upset you are reading about this here, if it ended up being serious you would have heard first-hand, PROMISE) I had a pretty wicked health scare this week. Which is totally what this deployment was missing! Friday night I found a lump on the back of my neck. Then Saturday morning I found a second lump. Being a cytotech by trade, I freaked out right away and figured I either had lymphoma or metastatic something-or-other. I. Was. Terrified. So I went to the doctor Saturday and saw a specialist today. I've been reassured that they aren't worrisome and are likely reactive lymph nodes processing a virus. I have to watch them and if they aren't better in two weeks they are going to cut them out. No jokes. But like I said, they aren't at all concerned and I've been given a clean bill of health. So yay for not having cancer!!!

I wish I had something more witty and pithy and, you know, helpful or useful to write, but there you have it. My life in a nutshell: No routine, pending retirement, last full month, no house and no cancer! Let's hope this week is a better one!

26 November 2009


So, this is my obligatory Thanksgiving post... HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y'ALL!

Okay, that's out of the way now. I've been decidedly "Bah Humbug" about all of the holidays and pre-holiday cheer. Not that I'm not thankful for my family, my amazing friends, the awesome support you've all given me, for Swiss, for our health, for life -all in all- being pretty great. But also, I'm tired. I am tired and weary and so very blase about all of it... this deployment, missing Swiss, doing the holiday thing "alone". I think I was pretty naive about the holidays going into this deployment. Nope, check that, I know I was. Somewhere along the line I think I figured that since we would be so, so close to the end of the deployment by the time the holidays rolled around I'd be fine with it.

News flash: I'm not.

I don't mean to be all Debbie Downer about it all because I do have a lot to be thankful for and I do have a great family that is doing its best to keep me entertained and cheerful during this last chunk of the deployment. Its just that, somehow, being so close to the end has magnified the suck of being away from Swiss this holiday season. Oh well. Can't change it, right? And next year will be better. And we are almost done with this. And, after all, at least I have someone as amazing as Swiss to miss during this time. How was that for a pep talk?

Anyway, after all that mopey drivel... I really, truly want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to each and every one of you, dear readers. You've brought kindness, wisdom, humor, support, and new friendships to my life this past year plus and I am SO grateful for all of you. So go enjoy this holiday season with the ones you love, and if you are in the same boat as me... know that next year will be better! Promise!

So have a stellar Thanksgiving... eat a lot, watch TV, and laugh til you can't anymore. And Thank You!


23 November 2009


This part where I miss my husband so much it hurts and can't stand the thought of another day where my life isn't my own again... the part where I don't have a home, don't have freedom, don't have my (or our) normal... the part where I live by someone else's rules, where I feel like a teenager in my parents home, where I just want my life back... I hate it.

I want this to be over. I want to feel normal again. I want my life back. I want Swiss back.

Sorry for the lack of posting lately- I'm in a funk and rather than bore you all to death with my funkified drivel, I've been keeping quiet. Hope you are all doing well and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

17 November 2009

LiveBlogging the PCS: Part Eleventy-million.

Ugh. The housing. So we've been on the official wait list since round about August... I wanted to be ahead of the curve and at the top of the list when the time came. I sent about 10 different documents, navigated the most un-user-friendly housing application site, signed away our first born child and then waited. And waited.

This week the waiting is over. I called down to the Fort X housing office and, after a few of the good old "No, call this person." "No, not that person, THIS person." "No, you need to talk to the first person you were in contact with 4 months ago.", I got the guy. And then I had to send 4 more documents, sign away our 2nd through 6th born children and I got us a house. But not really. I got offered a house in below grade housing which isn't soooo bad, but is way far away from Swiss' work so not idea. Also? 2 story. No thanks. But don't think me picky... the real reason I said no was that even though (all along) I've asked for a move in date after Christmas, this move in date was the 17th of December. Which means Christmas all alone in a new place. No family, no husband, no friends. No thanks... I might be a tough Army wife, but I ain't that tough!

Thankfully my housing liaison dude is awesome (and understanding) and he said he'd keep an eye out in the next two weeks for not only a better date, but a house in our preferred community. These, my friends, are the benefits to getting on the list super duper early (which means at the current moment we are at the tippy top of the list) and calling 2 weeks prior to the "suggested" time of 1 month pre-move in (this is what gave us the two weeks to wait for something better). Those Girl Scouts were right... Be Prepared!!!

So my message to you about to embark on your own journey to procuring On-Post housing? Do it early. Get your paperwork in months ahead of time if you can. Build a relationship with your housing liaisons. Be nice (this one is extra important). And do everything about two weeks sooner than they tell you to.

I'll keep y'all posted as to how it turns out. Cross your fingers for us and hopefully by this time next week I'll have a new address in a new location that makes us all happy... with a good move-in date to boot!

15 November 2009

Sundays and unemployed life.

So, Swiss is back with the unit and healthy and doing well, which in turn means that I am doing well also. Those nerves and angsty feelings? I can do without those for sure. It is Sunday morning, which is usually a wonderfully lazy day that you relish, and it turns out that when you are unemployed... Sunday is just like any other day. Which is both awesome and weird. But I digress.

We are closing in on the date that I pack up all of our stuff and the mutt and embark on a 20+ hour drive to our new home at Fort X. I am geeked! Tomorrow I get to call our Housing Liaison to get our move in date scheduled, decide (if that's an option) which housing community to reside in, and get an appointment to have our stuff moved in to the new abode. And once I have all of that? Then I'll be able to get a reservation for temporary lodging and all that goodness. I am so geeked. All of this stuff seemed soooooo far away for so long. Now, it is really here! All the stuff I wrote on my calendar so many months ago are popping up left and right. And it is AWESOME.

Otherwise life at home with the parents is good. Strange, but good. I'm looking forward to the holidays and time with friends, but I'm also looking forward to my own bed, my own bathroom and not living out of a suitcase. This Army life of ours has ended up being quite surreal. Ask me if I foresaw myself living with my parents again on my way to a new state sans husband 5 years ago. Ha! I would have laughed you right out of the room.

Anyway, that is enough rambling for now. Off to drink more coffee and watch Food TV with my Mom. Hope you all have a super weekend and were able to watch "How We Get By". I cried a lot knowing Swiss has been through that airport and benefit ted from those wonderful people's generosity and heart at least 3 times now. I'm pretty sure you can donate to their cause too if you have the giving spirit... take care and enjoy your Sunday!

13 November 2009


So it might have taken me like 30 minutes to get this photograph because I am clinically un-photogenic, but me likey. Also, it only takes me about 3.5 minutes to dry and style it. And it stays that way all day. Awesomeness.

Oh, and one more thing... Swiss thinks it's hawt. Sweet!

11 November 2009

Odds 'n ends...

First things first: Happy Veteran's Day. Take a moment to celebrate all of our veterans, present and past, to thank them for all they have done and to recognize how lucky we all are to have brave, honorable men & women who are willing to fight for all that is good and right.

Second: Watch "The Way We Get By" tonight on your local PBS station. I've heard all about it but this is the first time I'll be able to watch it. I've got my Kleenex ready. Check out this site to learn about this amazing movie (you will need the Kleenex to watch the trailer too, so consider yourself warned) and this site to find out what channel to watch it on in your area and what time. Also, way to go PBS... broadcasting this movie is not only the honorable thing to do, it is the right thing to do. I hope you tell everyone you know to watch this movie tonight.

Third: I am lopping off all my hair today. Pictures will follow.

Fourth: Swiss is recovering nicely and feeling a million times better. There will be a conversations with the FRG and PTB (powers that be) when I get to Fort X about how this sort of information is disseminated, how much information is given out and so forth. The FRG did what it was designed to do, but the content was all wrong. I'm less mad now, knowing that Swiss is okay, but I would hate for another spouse to have to go through the same mess I did. Also, I would encourage all of you to not have your BiL's and step-kids on your Facebook account no matter how cool they seem. Recipe. For. Disaster.

The end. Now, go hug a Veteran (maybe not a stranger, but hug a Veteran you know).

09 November 2009

Update: Swiss

Well, that chain of communication was a (well intentioned) big, fat fail. Turns out Swiss never actually had surgery... he's just been getting IV antibiotics and bed rest all this time. Sleeping. Hence the lack of calls.

And here I thought he was in some sort of induced coma while a man-eating bacteria was eating him inside out. Seriously.

So yes, he is recovering and doing well. He finally got un-attached from his IV bags (yes, there were multiple) and was able to call me. I almost cried when I heard his voice. But I had my big-girl britches on and kept it together. But now he is fine, still recovering, and I ended up being the one to give the Colonel his update. How bass ackwards is that I ask?

But I digress... thanks to all of you for your kind words, good juju and support. We can all breathe a bit easier now.

Sigh. Deployment? You can feel free to be over any time now... just sayin'.

08 November 2009

Le sigh.

Just when I thought this deployment couldn't possibly throw another wonky bag of bricks my way... I find out that Swiss had surgery while in the sandbox. After the fact.

He called last night to tell me that they were checking him into the hospital there to take care of an issue that started (though seemed so innocent and not a big deal) while he was home on R&R. That was the last I heard. So, naturally, I spent the whole night wringing my hands, worrying, fretting over his status. I didn't hear from him today so I sent an e-mail off to the FRG. Thank God for our awesome FRG leader... I had a response from the Lt. Colonel within 2 hours. And they told me that he had just gotten out of surgery and was recovering well.

You heard that right. I found out he had surgery AFTER THE FACT. My husband went under the knife, under anesthesia, the whole works and not a single soul thought to call and inform me. Seriously.

I want to be mad about it. I want to figure out how this oversight happened. I want answers. But more than all of that... I want to hear from Swiss himself that he is okay. So I wait and wring hands and fret all over again.

Ugh. Deployment, you can suck it. For reals.

I'll keep y'all posted about his condition but I have no real reason to think he isn't recovering nicely. But if you feel like it, toss some good juju his way, okay? Thanks.

07 November 2009

The new, new normal?

Gaw. How many new normals does a girl have to have in a year? Srsly. So I am now back in the land of beer and cheese, home in Wisconsin. I'm still living out of a suitcase. My Mac has a new, decidedly more surly attitude (aka: it won't start). And I am living with my parents. Yep. Almost 31 and living with my parents. Thank Maude it is only for 2 months. But hey, Fletcher was super geeked to see me when I walked in the door.

I'm still trying to readjust to this new routine. The one that doesn't involve Swiss anymore (a fact that majorly sucks and I still haven't gotten over yet). The one where I don't have personal space anymore. The one where I have to bring clothes into the bathroom when showering because I can't walk around the house nekkid anymore. The one where, even though it is home, I'm still a visitor. And I still get scolded by my mom. The one where I don't have a job or specific tasks to do every day other than hit up the gym (Couch to 5K here I come!). The one where I sort of, kind of, a little bit feel like I'm adrift in a great big blue sea of nothing... in an inner tube.

But it has its perks too, this new, new normal. There are people here. People that live in the house I live in and talk to me. Way less solitary. There are people that cook for me. No more cereal or toast for dinner! There are things to do. My ever industrious mom constantly comes up with things to do, places to see, people to meet. Its good. I'm waiting for Swiss to get where he's going so that we too can get on with our new, new normal routine. The standard phone call times, the e-mails, the web-cams.

Mostly, I'm waiting for things to hurry up and get done so that it can be just after Christmas and get on my way down to our new home at Fort X. To start up our new, new, new normal. Because, apparently, for us MilSpouses one or two new normals just ain't enough.

06 November 2009

Fort Hood.

Fort Hood is a place Swiss and I are quite familiar with... I won't go into the details of our relationship to Fort Hood because they aren't important... but my heart is breaking for those who were lost in this senseless, horrific and terrifying crime. I can't understand how this happened. I can't understand how someone would or could do this to their own.

As I watch the news, I think back to my emotional state, where my head was at, my fears and concerns as Swiss was preparing for his deployment... as he was making his way through the same preparations as the soldiers who lost their lives were doing yesterday. Never in my deepest, darkest thoughts would I have worried about something like this. I can't fathom the pain and angst and heartbreak of those families. I can't imagine the distrust, betrayal, the rage of those service members. And I can't understand why. Why???

If you are in or around the Fort Hood area... please do all you can to help. Donate blood if you can (OIF/OEF vets cannot donate), find a family in need and do whatever you can, call up anyone you know there to make sure they are okay. And send all of your prayers, good juju, karma, whatever to the families who are dealing with pain I cannot imagine.

05 November 2009

What I know and what I don't.

I know that we only have somewhere around three-ish months left now that Swiss is headed back to theatre. I know that the countdown has begun and that we are technically short-timers. I know that three-ish months is a piece of cake in the grand scheme of things. I know that the worst of it is behind us. I know that we are doing wonderfully and that we will get through this with flying colors. I know that I can do this and I can handle the relatively little time that we have left apart because I've already done it and done it well for 8.5 months. I know that this is the last time (knock on wood) we have to do this. I know all of this. Really, I do.

But Good Maude. This is still so effing hard. I don't know why I didn't think it would be. I don't know why I wasn't prepared for how much this hurts. Swiss and I have spent the better part of our relationship saying goodbye. In fact, I'm reasonably certain we've spent more time apart than we have together (which really should be more disturbing than I find it). Shouldn't I be used to this? Shouldn't it get easier? Shouldn't I have figured out by now how to cope with this?

Today has been so much harder than I thought it would be. It is so completely different than any other time he's had to leave. It is certainly different than when he first left for the sandbox... that one was the worst by far (as you all know). It doesn't feel so foreboding, so menacing, so long. But it does feel like I've been punched in the gut, chewed up and spit out, gutted. I feel empty and kind of lost. Like my world has been upended yet again... I suppose it has. I feel the raw emotions that are almost like those of a break-up... that fresh, searing hurt because you can't possibly imagine life without that person in it. Like you can't breathe and can't figure out how you'll go on. And it is the kind of emotional tsunami that crashes over you when you least expect it. An hour plus driving in the car? I was fine. Hop in the shower? Meltdown. Moving his bag of dirty ACU's? Fine. Thinking about how long it will be before his arms are around me again? Meltdown. Typing this in a hotel lobby? Meltdown.

I guess I just didn't think that this would be so hard. I though I was tougher. I thought that since we had knocked out so much of this deployment already, dealt with goodbyes so many times before (albeit in different circumstances), mentally prepared myself for what this would be like... I thought that I would be okay. Its just that I don't feel okay right now. Not even close.

I know I will be okay. I know I'll find my groove and get back into the old new routine. I know he will be home "soon" and that with the holidays coming up and the move to Fort X the time should fly by. But as far as I'm concerned? It won't be soon enough. And I wish I knew how to make this empty, gut-wrenching hurt go away.

One is the loneliest number.

For two weeks I let myself forget how solitary life has been. I let myself forget how much it sucks to do it all alone. I let myself remember how much better everything is when we are together. I let myself get wrapped up in how wonderful Swiss is, how amazing life is when we are together.

I let myself feel whole again and it was spectacular.

And now I am back to one. My heart hurts today. I feel empty and un-whole and sad. And I want this to be over.

I want Swiss back. Badly.