Friday, February 26, 2010

Two week countdown

Only thirteen days left until the Airmen's Run when I get to finally see Michael again!

The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy around here which is why I haven't updated for a while.  I left to visit my cousin in San Antonio last week which has been absolutely great.  Warm weather, good company--couldn't ask for anything better, especially in February!  I'll be here until after Michael's graduation which is really helping pass the time quickly. 

Evie is having a blast having a daily playmate her age, and is picking up so many new things.  She's more interested in the potty chair, in using her manners (please, thank you, you're welcome), and in sharing.  And of course, she loves getting to go to the park every day, and our zoo trip last week was a blast for her.

In military news, Michael finishes up week six of eight tomorrow.  I talked to him this past Sunday for twenty minutes for which I am so grateful since we didn't get a phone call the week before.  He sounded great--more positive than the last phone call--but he is starting to get bored with the same routine every day.  BMT isn't as bad as he anticipated it would be.  He's ready to get to Tech School where he will learn about his job, and then of course to move to our first base where we can finally be together again.  I wish it were June already!

Michael said the gas chamber (week 4) wasn't bad; it just cleared out his sinuses.  This past week (week 6) was "the beast" where they live in tents for a week.  Basically they put into practice a lot of what they have been learning since they've arrived.  Week 7 doesn't have anything super exciting that I know of; they will probably do a lot of testing for things they are suppose to be able to do.  And then week 8 is the week of Graduation so they will probably be preparing for that.

These past six weeks have held a lot of emotions for me--not all of them great--but in a way, I am glad for them.  They have provided us with an opportunity for growth and self-awareness that I didn't truly expect.  They have made our marriage stronger, and have given us an opportunity to remember what we cherish about one another.  It has brought on a new appreciation for everything and everyone we have in our lives. 

Hopefully these next 13 days fly by very quickly, and then the 4 days I get to see Michael go by at snail pace!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Highlight of my day

Every time I receive a letter from Michael in the mail, it is the highlight of my day.  Today, I received two!  His letters didn't sound as upbeat as usual--but that was to be expected.  I'm told "week three" is one of the hardest to get through, just because they have a lot of classes to sit through and such.  Basically, it's boring and makes the days drag on.  But though the tone of his letters weren't as chipper as they have been (I mean, who is always chipper in BMT anyway?), he still writes about how he likes what  he's doing. 

All he needs is a little encouragement--that's where all you letter writers come in--to help him through these last four weeks.  I'm excited/nervous to hear how the gas chamber and obstacle course go this week!

Next week I'll be leaving for Texas for a three-week vacation leading up to his Graduation.  I'll be in the same area (just outside San Antonio) as Michael, but won't get to see him.  That will be a true test of my strength.  But it will also be a greatly-appreciated distraction from all the worrying and frustration on my end.  And for that, I am truly thankful!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Took me by surprise

I got another phone call from Michael from BMT today, though that wasn't what took me by surprise.  This is the third Saturday in a row that he's been able to call--which is three times more than I thought he'd ever be able to.  He is doing very well, and once again sounded upbeat.  They are starting week four (half way done!) this next week which means the gas chamber (eek!), and the obstacle course. 

So the phone call wasn't the reaction when it ended was.  Each time I receive a letter or a phone call, I'm elated.  I am so proud of everything that he is doing, and immensely glad that he seems to be liking the military lifestyle he's thus far been introduced to.  Even though I am sad that he isn't here, and I miss him every single day, I haven't been distraught with grief like some people seem to think I should be.  Four and half months in the long scheme is not that long a time, I know what he is doing is what is best for him and our family, and I refuse to dwell on the fact that he's not here.

That being said, hanging up after what seemed like the shortest ten minute phone call of my life was so incredibly hard.  Last week we were able to talk for a whole twenty-five minutes which compared to today, seems like an eternity.  I know I am blessed that we were even able to have those ten minutes so it took me by surprise how panicked and crushingly sad I felt when I had to say goodbye.  I don't have those moments often--I try hard to keep my chin up and to keep it together for Evie--but when those moments hurts.

In the eight years that Michael and I have been together, we've never been apart longer than a week, possibly two.  We certainly haven't gone longer than a couple of days without speaking, at least on the telephone.  I've never had to be an adult without him.  It's strange, and unnerving, and more than a tiny bit scary.  I know as a military wife these absences will occur more than occasionally, and eventually they will probably seem normal, but right's hard.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hurry up and wait...

...and wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.  That's probably one of the first rules military spouses need to learn if they want to survive the military lifestyle.  Hurry up and wait.  Getting Michael signed up for the USAF was chaotic and a whirlwind of a few weeks...and then we waited 4 months for him to ship off to BMT.  Now we're waiting, ever so patiently, to find out the next stage. 

He submitted his "dream sheet" last week--the list of 5 bases he would ultimately like to get stationed at this first go-around.  Note that DREAM should be in bold, italicized, and flashing in neon color because it is definitely just that.  A dream.  We may not end up at any of those 5 bases (FYI: they would be Eglin AFB & Hulbert Field in FL, Luke AFB & Davis-Monthan AFB in AZ & Dyess AFB, TX) at all.  So now we wait...until April or May? 

This hurry up and wait business will be a trademark of my life for at least the next six years so I'm working on suppressing my not-so-hidden control-freak side.  It's definitely going to take some getting used to. 

But I do have one tool under my belt that spouses in the past were lacking--the internet.  It never ceases to amaze me, the plethora of information you can find on this vast world wide web.  I don't know how wives did this in the past--leaving their families and friends behind--without the kind of support system that I now have at my fingertips.  I have access to military spouse forums that are full of women who've been there and done no question ever has to go unanswered.  And there are so many wives out there, just like me, who are sharing their experiences via blog.

I don't have to do this alone, and because of that, I think I can handle this hurry up and wait lifestyle just fine.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

3 weeks down, 5 to go!

Michael has been gone at BMT (basic military training) for just over three weeks now...only five more to go until Graduation.  In the letter I received from him today, he worded it perfectly:  the days are going by slowly, but the weeks are flying by.  And to me, it makes complete sense.  One solitary day barely seems to make a dent in the many weeks between now and when we get to see each other again, but then that day joins another and before I know it, another week has gone by. 

Getting letters from Michael is the highlight of this whole experience.  I never know when they'll come or how long they will be, but they always brighten my day.  In fact, today I received two letters.  He is doing great.  He really seems to be enjoying BMT, taking the good with the bad, and is making the most out of the entire thing.  Just through the letters and the two phone conversations we've had, I can tell how joining the military has already changed his outlook on life.  Hopefully, it's guaranteed a brighter one.

He's making new friends, learning new skills, gaining life lessons.  I couldn't be prouder of a person than I am of him at this moment.