News!

So…. I’ve been a scooch MIA, due to the fact that I’ve been entirely paranoid that I would accidently blab my news all over the internet before I could tell my friends, family, and employer the old fashioned way.  You know, with a text.

Before rumors start swirling, let me clarify that:

A. I’m not getting divorced

B. I’m not pregnant

C. There’s no life-threatening disease

D. I’m not dying my hair black (not a great look for a fair skinned/eyed Norwegian gal.  Those are 8 months of my junior year that I’ll never get back…)

OK – y’all ready???  For the big news??

I’m MOVING!

OK OK – so that’s not exactly earth shattering… but wait, there’s more…

  • I’m leaving my job
  • To move across the country
  • To start a full-time MBA program
  • To live in the same state as my husband
  • To live in the same city as my husband
  • To live in the same APARTMENT with my husband
  • To live in the same 850 square foot apartment with only 1 bathroom, 1 closet, and no washer/dryer with my husband
  • To finally actually be a Marine Corps wife – attend promotions, hail and fairwells, wives’ coffees, balls, and everything else

What – are y’all still stuck on the 850 square foot, 1 bathroom, 1 closet biz??  Yes, me too.  Obviously, they’ll be some entertaining stores to recount.   I’m already drafting the first blog entry, tentatively titled “Those dishes aren’t going to put themselves in the dishwasher.”  Alternatively titled, “When did I turn into my mother?”

Bobby got his dream job instructing new USMC officers, I get to pursue my own dream of getting a masters degree.  We’ll be living in the exciting city of Washington DC and FINALLY spending that educational newlywed year together.  I say educational because I have a feeling we’ll both be learning a whole lot about each other.  Such as, I’m not a morning person.  He is.  I’m talking jazz hands, SINGING good morning to me.  Yes, this will be a learning process.

I leave you with a few pics…

Yes, this would be our baby selves exploring DC in 2007.

And this would be my very cold, much younger and skinnier self standing in what is our new neighborhood.  Funny how it all comes around full circle.

Hiatus

Ugh! Sorry for the brief hiatus! Definitely distracted by the usual – work and husband. Oh, how nice it feels to finally be distracted by husband issues that DON’T involve Afghanistan! Yes, in case the picture below did not give it away let’s all take a HUGE sigh of relief together – my husband is HOME!! And by home, I mean across the country, but hey – it’s a start. At least the East coast is a little closer than A-stan. And I can visit. And it has electricity and running water. OK OK … many positives to this new arrangment. Long distance marriage – part 2 beginning now.

Not only is B home, but I’m currently sitting at the airport waiting for his cute self to walk through those gates! He hasn’t been to AZ in 3 years, and he’s never seen the house I’ve lived in for the past 8 months. So many things to introduce him to out here – old favorites (Oregano’s, Camelback Mtn) and new finds (Postino, Yogurtology and Pinnacle Peak). PLUS – we absolutely have to sample the Pumpkin Porter at Four Peaks (is it sad I just drooled a little??) If you’re from Arizona, you’re probably also drooling. If you’re not, you’re probably getting real tired of all these AZ things you’ve never heard of. Be jealous – they’re all as amazing as they sound.

I have lots to catch y’all up on – including the fact that we actually spent our 1 year anniversary together! B got home just in time – early by a few days. All my military ladies know that this is NEVER the case, so I am taking it as a good sign:) Last deployment I had to spend 4 days anxiously waiting since the flight got pushed out. This time, I was racing the clock (and a hurricane) to get to base on time. Lots of pics and updates to come!!

Just bein’ Miley

Has anyone else seem the commercial for Hannah Montana Military special??  No?  I’m the only one who falls asleep to Disney?

Every time I see it (OK I also watch Disney when I run on the treadmill too.. .and clean… and cook… ) I tear up.  I’m talking spontaneous, annoying tears!  WTF?!  Like, I can’t even stop!  I get all mushy gushy about how nice it is that Hannah Montana is honoring the military.  First of all, she’s not a real person (sorry Jenny!)  Second of all, get it together Greeno!

I feel like as homecoming gets closer, it’s almost MORE emotional than the first 6 months.  Yes, it’s been 6 freaking months BTW.  I think it’s because in the beginning, being emotional about it wasn’t really an option, you know?  Like – what was the point in being all sad about it when I had 8 long months to go.  But now… now that it’s right around the corner??  I don’t even know how I’m going to wait.  Oh that’s right – I’ll wait by RUNNING.  13.1 Miles.  OK OK – and having fun with Sara, visiting home and my little bro, stopping in Cleveland for a bridal shower, and lots and lots (and lots) of work.

Anyone who has been in a long distance relationship can understand what I’m feeling.  Whenever I was right around the corner from a visit to/from Bobby, friends or co-workers would always ask me if I was excited.  And I’d always say, “not yet.”  I literally couldn’t let myself get excited about seeing him until I was on the plane, or on the way to the airport.  If I let myself get excited to see him prior to that, it was too hard waiting!

Since we’ve started planning his homecoming, finding a house for him, talking about what food I’ll make him for his ‘first meal’ – I guess it just feels so real, and so soon.  Not soon enough, of course, but I’m already in that anxious, antsy, when the heck is he going to get here mood.  I’ll just keep on with my usual distraction methods – staying insanely busy.  Oh, and Season 7 of One Tree Hill comes out on Tuesday so there’s that as well:)

SO MAD

UGH – am I ever LIVID right now!  These are the days I’m thankful for this blog – so I can come vent, especially when it’s a topic that I know all you military peeps can relate to.

Let me just set this lil scene for you.  (Warning: I tell LONG stories.  Ask any of my friends.  I would like to think it’s entertaining and endearing, but they might beg to differ.  They’re stuck around though, so I will continue to believe that they like it).

I’ve been in Minnesota for the last 10 days.  Prior to leaving Arizona, I set my A/C at 83 degrees.  I flew in early Monday morning, and went right to work.  I came home from work around 7PM, and walked into a SAUNA.  No, literally – I felt like I was on the sun.  I’m thinking that 83 degrees should not feel like 8,000 so I meander up to my thermostat (or whatever the heck it’s call for A/C).  Um yeah, totally not working.  Thinking it might be human error, I reset it to a breezy 72, and head to the gym.  2 hours later?  Still hot as Haites.  Then I start noticing that my house is a HOT MESS.  No, literally – it was hot and messy.  All of my candles had melted (and falled all over the place), my pantry was melted (chocolate chips, frosting, marshmallows – ps I like to bake), and something on my shoe rack must have melted because it had fallen over causing a shoe explosion in my bedroom.  My computer was hot to the touch.  Yes, my dear sweet Mac. 

I left work today around 10AM to go wait (in aforementioned Haites) for the repair man.  1 hour later (thank goodness for Kourt and Khloe on DVR to keep my mind off sweating), the repairman kindly informed me he didn’t have the right part, so I’d have to wait a few more days.  A few more days??  Before I can sleep in my Westin Heavenly Bed King Size Bed?!  Before I can properly restore the shoe explosion??  Before I can WATCH THE 38,295 HOURS OF TIVO I HAVE SAVED FROM THE LAST 10 DAYS OF OUT-OF-TOWN-NESS????? 

As you can tell, not in the greatest mood on my way back to work.

As I’m pulling in, I get an email on my iphone.  I’ve spent the last few weeks securing a place for Bobby (and his 2 friends who are also deployed) to live from Sept-Dec while they finish their time in North Carolina.  I’d been working with a vacation rental company, since the guys wanted to live close to the beach, and you can find great monthly deals in the off season.  I found a great house for the 3 guys, and had gotten them pre-approved.  I sent in application fees, a $450 deposit, AND the first month’s rent.  All that was pending was the owner’s approval of the applications.  Shouldn’t be a problem, right?  3 men, in their late 20′s, with stable jobs, perfect rental history, and good credit.

So I get this email from the rental company, explaining that the owners don’t want to rent the house to Marines.  I immediately called to speak with her.  Apparently the owners just don’t want Marines renting their house.  They didn’t check references, or credit scores, or rental history.  For the record, the rental company rep that I’m working with sounded just as disgusted as I felt, and immediately told me she’d find me something else, as “we don’t want to give them your money anyway.”

ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME??  What’s ironic is that these 3 Marines?  The most responsible 27 year old men I know.  They would have paid rent on time, kept the house clean, and been stellar tenants.  I am absolutely disgusted that people in this country can have that opinion of our military.  And that people can be so ignorant in general.  It’s like saying I won’t rent my hosue to a laywer, because I had a bad experience with a previous tenant who was a lawyer.  It’s their PROFESSION – and, if anything, it speaks VOLUMES about they type of people they are.  You’ll trust the security of our country to Marines, but you won’t trust your vacation home?  Give me a freaking break.

Good luck renting an off season vacation rental, in an 87% military populated town, to a NON SERVICE MEMBER.

I want anything to do with the owners, and I don’t want Bobby or his fellow Marines to step foot in their house, but I’m so incredibly disappointed by ignorant people.  These 3 infantry officers have spent the last 7 months sweating in un air conditioned huts, sleeping outside covered in bugs and spiders, and patrolling thousands of hours in full uniform.  In the words of Bobby while I was looking for a house for them, “Babe – on a scale of 1 to 10, we’re just looking for like a 2.7.  Anything will be an improvement.”  Really sad that there are people in this country who aren’t willing to welcome a soldier/Marine/sailor/airman home after conditions like that.  What a fabulous way to welcome our troops home from a combat tour in Afghanistan. 

Oh, and after the A/C experience, and then this?  I hung up with the agent and immediately burst into tears.  Then I called my dad who always defends me and makes me feel better. 

Am I crazy for being this mad?  (I admit, tears were a little overkill, but I was sweaty and upset = not a good combo).  Seriously, not OK, right??

Training

Training for last week:

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 3 Miles

Tuesday – 8 Miles

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 1 hour strength training

Friday – 3 miles

Saturday – 4 miles

Yeah, definitely not my best week of training.  I was working in Minnesota all week, which meant tons of (boring work) meetings and tons of (fun friends & family) meetings.  Eesh – little time for creative work outs. 

High point of the week: Getting 2 runs in while up at the cabin with my girlfriends.  Thanks KT and Sus for chugging along with me and motivating me to run at noon in hot hot hot weather!   Not gonna lie, I was also motivated by the ridiculous amount of pizza and drinks we consumed the night before, but hey – whatever gets you going, right?

Low point of the week: Only 1 day of non-running!  No sprints or tempo runs either! 

Goal for next week:  Focus on non-running.  Sounds a little like I’m shirking the training, huh… but I am going to focus on some different cross training and some different types of runs (sprints and tempo runs), as well as focus on all the ‘other’ stuff about training: drinking lots of H2O, eating right, stretching, and getting lots of sleep. 

Oh, and another goal for this week?  Figure out where the heck to do a 10 miler in Arizona?  Considering it’s 90+ degrees at 5AM, I’m a little nervous about how I’m going to accomplish this!  Suggestions welcome!!  I’ll report back next week on how it went.

Training

Here’s my weekly log of training (just a scooch belated…):

Sunday – 7 miles

Monday – 1 hour yoga sculpt class

Tuesday – 5 miles

Wednesday – 3 miles

Thursday – 40 minute tempo run, 1 hour strength training

Friday – 3 miles race pace

Saturday -  1 hour yoga sculpt class

I feel like I’m not putting enough miles in, but for the marathon I ran in October I ran TONS of miles, and I didn’t have an amazing race.  This time, I’m making sure I get the long runs in, but focusing on other types of training – yoga, strength training, tempo runs, and speed workouts.  Anyone have any great training tips?

Rabbit Rabbit

Did anyone else used to do that?  When you wake up on the first of each month, you’re supposed to say, “Rabbit Rabbit” in order to have good luck for the whole month?

So… guess what??  It’s AUGUST.  Which means, I will be seeing THIS guy:

NEXT MONTH!  WOO HOO!

Oh, I’m also running a half marathon next month.  So, on that note, I better get outside and start running.  On a side note, if anyone wants to make a deployment go faster, just schedule a half marathon a few days or weeks before the homecoming.  You know how when you’re not prepared for something (race, meeting, test) the days before it seem to fly by?  That’s how this whole half marathon thing is happening.  Which is awesome since I get to see Bobby shortly after.  But not so awesome since I actually do, in fact, have to run 13.1 miles in 6 weeks.

Happy August!  Rabbit Rabbit!

Fill-in Friday

Jump on over to Wife of a Sailor to join in! 

1. What is your spouse’s best feature?
His HEART! (cue the ‘awwwwws’!)  OK OK how about a less cheesy answer?  All my girls know EXACTLY where I’m going with this answer… his dimples!  He has the cutest face, and he has these adorable dimples that get him out of lots of trouble.  I’m pretty sure those babies have been workin’ for him since 1983, and I don’t see that changing any time soon:)

2. Mild, Medium or Hot sauce?
Hot sauce!!  This is a new development for me as I’m from Minnesota where Taco Bell is considered good Mexican food.  Since living in Arizona, I’ve embraced the heat – in temp and in salsa!

3. What is the worst uniform you had to wear for a job?
Hands down Olive Garden – black pants, white button up, a tie, and the smell of alfredo on every inch of your skin … All. Day. Long.

4. You have invisible powers… where is the first place you would go?
Boy’s locker room – woooo hooooo!!!  Kidding … kind of.  Sorry kids, husband’s been deployed 6 months, gotta get your giggles somehow!  No, really, I’M KIDDING, before I start getting disgruntled comments please let me reinforce that.  Ummm I guess I’d use my invisible powers to sneak into CPK and figure out how to make their Sedona corn chicken tortilla soup.  No matter how many copy cat recipes I try, I just can’t get it exactly right.  Can you tell what’s on my mind right now?? Mmmm CPK….

5. What’s left on your “to do” list for this summer?
oooh lots and lots!  Leaving today for 10 days in Minnesota – work and play!  A visit from my Wisco friend Jess, Girls’ weekend (S7) at the cabin, Sara’s AZ visit – lots of peach ale and Macayo’s, another visit home, visit to Des Moines to see the little bro, Cleveland for a bridal shower, and finishing up the summer with the Chicago half marathon!  Should probably also work in some running, some laying out, some working, and some prepping for the husband to come home (home being across the country, but it’s better than across the world!)

THAT girl

Recently I’ve been told quite a few times, “What have you done with my daughter/friend/sister/cousin???”  When I started this whole military journey 4 years ago – I was exactly the opposite of a devoted military wife.  I was a feminist, democrat, liberal, career woman.  I was also traditional, romantic, and an optimist.  Guess what??  I’m still all of those things.   However, 4 years of learning what really matters can change a person.  I remember back in 2007, almost exactly 3 years ago.  Bobby was graduating from TBS (The Basic School – a 6 month training all USMC officers complete after OCS).  I flew out for graduation and ended up spending 6 hours stranded at the DC airport, no call, no text.  I was PISSED.  Bobby was in the field, without a phone, and had no way to communicate until close to 5 hours after I’d landed and expected him waiting at the gate.  The next day, one of Bobby’s friends’ girlfriends commented to me that she’d heard about my airport stay.  Her next comment completely blew me away.  “Gosh, those poor guys.  It’s not their fault.”  Oh. Em. Gee. Was I ever mad??  Really lady??  You’re going to EXCUSE this behavior???  Ha, oh my, how the tides have turned.  Although I’ve been disappointed time and time again by the military’s timelines and expectations of a relationship, I no longer blame Bobby.  Sometimes I wonder if I was blaming him for the decision to be a Marine, and the disappointments were just excuses to be mad about it.  Needless to say, 4 long years later, I am THAT girl.  The one who sees that no matter how often the spouses are disappointed, the service member feels it 10 times over.  But what I love most is that I get to be THAT girl – in whatever context I choose to be.  THAT Democrat, THAT feminist, THAT romantic, THAT optimist, THAT driven, independent woman, and most importantly, THAT wife.  THAT Marine wife (to be exact).  Do I believe in what we’re doing and why we’re over there?  That doesn’t really matter.  Do I believe in him?  HELL YES.

Without divulging too much information, here’s my current situation.  Bobby’s contract was up in June and he extended to go to Afghanistan – with my support.  In April he was up for augmentation and the decision weighed on us, him especially.  After our 4 years, 2 deployments, and constant good-byes, he was ok with being done.  OK with walking away, having his civilian life back.  In a move that shocked everyone around me (including him), I was the one who convinced him to continue for a few more years with the Marines.  I didn’t really need to convince him that he wanted to do the job he will do – I just needed to convince him that I’d support it, and that I’d be happy – that we’d be happy.  No more deployments in our future, but he will continue to make a difference in the lives of the Marines he cares so much about, and above everything else – that matters.

I’m a Marine wife – but I’m a lot of other things.  I never looked at our time apart and wished I could speed up the time, fast forward to when he was back, done, out.  I simply took this time apart as time for us both to flourish individually.  While there’s always a piece of me missing when he’s gone, I had a FABULOUS 4 years – with family and friends, finding opportunities at work, traveling just about everywhere under the sun, training for marathons, and figuring out ME.  Who I am – who I want to be.   I am grateful for our time together, but also for our time apart.  I know that your 20’s are crazy, confusing years.  And I’m grateful that I got to spend mind growing, learning, and loving – my life, my family, my friends, and him.  I also got the chance to love my country, my faith, and my independence.  I am madly in love with my husband, and don’t think for a second that I don’t spend much of my time daydreaming of lazy Sundays, early morning runs, weekend get-a-ways, and getting him hooked on The Bachelor.  But I also dream of girls weekends with my friends, family vacations with my brothers and cousin, and the day I reach the top of that corporate ladder.

One of my very best friends recently started dating someone in the Army and I sent her a note in the early stages that reinforced this – I know I joke about never wishing this military life on anyone.  But, in reality, I wish this on all of my best friends.  If having to go through this type of experience leads you to love, happiness, clarity, and perspective?  Oh my gosh, that’s what I wish for everyone.   I never take a day with Bobby for granted, that’s an easy assumption, but I also never take a day with my girlfriends for granted, I never take a day with my family for granted, I never take a run for granted, I never take a meal for granted, I never take a re-run of The Kardashians for granted (that would be the second cheesy reality TV reference, not that I’m counting).  This makes me sound like a martyr (cue the shocked reactions of family/friends when I pushed for Bobby to continue his career).  Oh don’t worry, I still pout when things don’t go my way, curse the Marine Corps when they screw up my plans, and cry at almost every good-bye.  I’m no martyr, I’m just lucky enough to have been blessed with a healthy dose of reality and perspective early on in life, love, and career.

And (get this) I’m actually LOOKING FORWARD to being a leader among the new members of the USMC family when Bobby starts his new job.  I can already see myself uttering those same frustrating, irritating words, “It’s not his fault” to an annoyed wife or girlfriend.  And actually MEANING them!  Who woulda thunk?