Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Orders are Here!

The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. 

Michael finally received his Orders.  Hooray!

We are without a doubt still going to Kansas.  We knew there was a chance that would change so we're glad we now have a definitive answer.  I've grown very used to the idea so although it wasn't a base we had hoped to go to, I am 100% okay with it now.

Of course, no single leg of this journey has gone off without a hitch.  Orders didn't escape that. Hopefully Michael's "report by date" is wrong on his Orders, otherwise he has to report two days after getting done with his extra training.  He is suppose to have ten days so that can't be right.  Hopefully.

But having Orders allows us to finally get some stuff done.  We can get on the waiting list for base housing.  Michael can do his out-processing paperwork at Tech School.  When he finds out about the date thing, we'll be able to figure out the moving truck thing. 

I may have a million and one things to do in the next five weeks, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm going to be with my husband again!  For longer than a few days.  Hoorah!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Counting Down The Days!

I know the week just started...but is it Friday yet? 

Evie and I are driving down to Texas once again to see Michael this weekend.  Well, I'm driving.  She'll be relaxing in the backseat watching Dora and playing with her toys.  The difficult life of a two-year old, you know?

I'm starting to feel like I could do this drive in my sleep.  Fourteen hours is a long time which is why I split it into two days, but in a way it has prepared me for when we move to Kansas.  The drive from our hometown to Wichita is less than ten hours.  Before taking three cross-country trips since February, I would have said that was an excruciating distance , and we wouldn't be coming home that often.

Not anymore.  Ten hours?  Pshaw.  That's one day's drive.  It's nothing. 

But where was I?  Oh, yes.  We get to see Michael!

Evie hasn't seen her Papa in ten weeks.  Now, that might not be that long in military time when you think about all the deployments and trainings they leave for, but in our household, it's the longest they've been apart.  It's longer than BMT.  It's not like I'm going to tell a two-year old to suck it up, and get used to it. So I'm glad she gets to see him now, instead of waiting until July.

We get to see him for four whole days because of Memorial Day and his Graduation.  Which, by the way, got rescheduled again.  To Tuesday morning.  Good thing I don't have commitments to my time so I can just roll with the punches

Besides the Graduation early Tuesday morning, we have absolutely nothing to do.  It's going to be perfect!

When we visited Michael for BMT graduation, we had four days also.  But with all the ceremonies and the extra people visiting with us, we didn't have a lot of alone time as a family.  Although we enjoyed that weekend immensely, it will be nice to just be a family without having to run back and forth to different things.

I'll be sure to take lots and lots of pictures of us lounging around in the hot Texas weather.

I'm going to be busy this week with packing and getting ready to leave on Thursday so if I don't blog as much, that's why.  If I don't get back here before then, have a great Memorial Day, and take time to remember what that day means!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hey, It's Okay Thursday!

So I got this idea from a fellow blogger who in turn got it from Glamour magazine.  Basically, every Thursday I'm going to write a list of things to be okay about.  Feel free to do the same on your blog--any day of the week!

Hey, It's Okay...

To dislike "feel good" movies.  Give me an action or comedy movie any day, and I'll be happy.  I don't need to cry or watch a couple fall magically in love after knowing each other for two days.  I know a lot of action movies aren't realistic either (killing someone with a carrot? Come on Clive Owen.  It's just not possible), but at least they are fun to watch.  And while we're on that note...

To wish Adam Sandler could erase the last ten years of his movie career, and start over.  Seriously, the last good movie he made was "Little Nicky" back in 2000.  Instead of getting excited when I see a new movie of his coming out, I cringe.  Hello, "Funny People" was not funny.  It was depressing.

To not drink the milk in my bowl after I finish the cereal.  I don't care if it's wasteful--that is just disgusting.

To wonder what happened to the local radio station that I listened to growing up.  It used to be a great mix of pop, rock and rap.  Now it's like 95% rap, and I die a little inside every time I try to listen to it.

To be more than a little shocked by the new jean diapers by Huggies.  I don't know whether to laugh or stock up!

To hate when department stores decide to rearrange everything!  As soon as you're comfortable in the knowledge that you can find everything on your shopping list before your two-year old gets bored enough to start throwing things back out of the cart, they move everything.  And you have to start all over.  Thanks, really.  Thanks.

To still be a little confused about Lady Gaga.  Male or female?  I thought about Googling it, but I kind of like the not knowing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Roll With the Punches

I think the second rule military spouses need to learn (check out the first rule here) is to roll with the punches.  Living a life within the military is very unpredictable.  You can't and shouldn't count on anything, because nothing is guaranteed. 

Take Graduation for example.  It seems like something that should be pretty set in stone as long as you don't fail a block test or miss a day of class.  As long as you complete the requirements, you're golden.  Even if Tech School Graduation is considerably more low-key than BMT's was, you'll still feel proud standing up in front of family and friends.

But boy oh boy, let me tell you.  Nothing is sacred.  In the military, I'm pretty sure the phrase "set in stone" doesn't even exist. 

Because of a safety drill taking place the week Michael was set to graduate, they were informed early this week that Graduation would be held behind closed doors because the base would be on lock-down.  In other words, no family. 

So no getting to see my husband graduate another milestone.  No taking part in him being promoted.  No father seeing his daughter for the first time in ten weeks.  Nada.

Thankfully, I think the third lesson we military spouses learn is that we are surrounded by exceptional people who try their best to make things right. 

The instructor of Michael's class offered them a solution.  Work their Airmen butts off, and they could graduate next Friday instead.  As long as they keep on with their current progress, that should be easy.  So problem solved.  Hopefully. 

As I've said, there are no guarantees.  So you won't ever catch me holding my breath. 

If it seems like all I do is complain about the military, please let me correct you.  Because it's not intentional, and I hope it's only temporary.  One of the best things about the military is the life lessons you learn.  Michael has only been enlisted for just over four months, and look--we've already learned three great ones. 

I guess my point is, life is unpredictable.  So the military really isn't that different from life.  It's just set at a different pace and has a few alternative rules.  It's a learning process, and we're still new to all of this. 

So bear with us, we'll be in love with the Air Force again some day I'm sure.  Right now, we're just learning to roll with the punches. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

D-Listed Mom Blogs Blog Party 2010

'm trying to get my blog out there in blog-land so I'm taking part in a blog hop that gets bloggers reading other mom's blogs.  Basically, it's to help newer bloggers like myself who want to get more exposer, and in return, we are introduced to other blogs that maybe we haven't had a chance to read.

Anyone else interested in taking part in this blog hopping party, just click here.  I tried adding the pretty badge, but technology has bested me at the moment.  Ha, guess I'm still learning all this stuff!

As part of this blog hop, I'd like to just take a moment to say WELCOME TO MY BLOG!  It's a new excursion for me, but I'm loving it.  For me, blogging is a fun way to keep family and friends up to date with our new nomadic life, and to a great way to "meet" others going through the same life experiences as me.  Hooray, for modern technology!

Part of a blog hop is introducing yourself to the blog-world so here goes.

I'm a twenty-something stay-at-home wife and mother.  My husband recently joined the Air Force so we're crazy-stressed coping with everything that military life entails.  I'm the proud mother of an amazingly perfect two-year old who is a constant reminder of how truly blessed I am.  I'm a college graduate (B.S. in Sociology), but I'm taking time away from a career to raise my family.  In my spare time, I'm writing my first fantasy novel.  It's my passion, and I love every minute of it, but sometimes I doubt my abilities.  Which is why I love blogging.  On those days when being a military wife, mother or hopeful-writer is all a little bit too much to bear, I turn to my blog, put fingers to the keyboard and write a little about my piece of the world.  Thanks to all my readers who make it fun, and to to fellow blog hoppers for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hi, my name is Sammie...

And I'm a book addict.

Everybody has a vice.  For some people, it's smoking.  Or drinking.  Or drugs.  For others it's gambling.  Or even sunbathing.

For me, it's reading.  Does that make me weird?  Sadly, I think so.

Sometimes I wonder if there are support groups for people like me.  The librarians definitely know me when I walk in the door.  Many times a week.  With an armload of books.  When librarians look at you oddly for the amount of time you spend in the library, you know you have a problem. 

They probably think I have a million free hours.  But that simply isn't true.  I have twenty-four hours a day just like everyone else.  To be honest, with a two year old and an absent husband, I think it's pretty amazing that my worst habit is reading.

Ever since I was little, reading has been my favorite pastime.  Actually, I can't understand why more people don't do it.   Life is crazy.  Don't you people want to escape for a little while?  Oh...wait.  I guess that's where the drinking and gambling and such comes in.

Lately, I've been on a strictly paranormal streak.  I can't read anything unless it has to do with vampires, werewolves, witches, faeries, etc.  If it isn't paranormal, I'm just not interested.  Mostly, it's because the novel I'm writing falls into the paranormal category, and reading that genre helps keep me in the right frame of mind.  If I ever finish and publish my novel, maybe I can write off book purchases as a business expense since I sort of consider it research!

Anyways, I digress.  You're probably wondering what the point of this whole blog post is.  Well, I'll tell you.  I need more material!  I swear, I've read every single vampire novel out there and quite a few of the others, and I'm starting to get worried.  Could I seriously have gone through them all?  If you've checked out the book stands anywhere where books are sold, you'll know that vampire novels are everywhere.  Literally, every which way you turn.  And I've read them all.

Not good.

So if you know of any that don't suck are worth reading, please let me know.  Because when I'm having a mental block or just don't have the energy to write anything, I need something to read.  And like I've said about twelve times now, I've read them all.

Please help!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tech School Frustration

It seems my trend is to write a bunch of blogs posts in a row and then quit for many weeks at a time.  Sorry 'bout that folks.  But this one wasn't planned.

I would like to start by saying I know that having a husband serve in the military means that my family has to give up a lot of our control.  For (at least) the next six years, a lot of major life decisions won't be our decisions to make.  And I'm absolutely fine getting used to that.

But I think when the frustrations become a little too much to bear on my own, I'm going to need to vent a little.  So please bear with as I let loose my current level of frustration. 

Originally, we were told that Michael would go to eight weeks of BMT and ten weeks of Tech School.  Then we would move to our first duty station.  What we weren't told was that sometimes there is a layover between BMT and the start of classes at Tech School.  Luckily for us, that was only about ten days for Michael, instead of two months like some of his fellow BMT graduates. 

When we found out we were moving to Kansas, Michael was informed he'd have additional IFR training after Tech School graduation because of the aircraft he'll be working on.  The training is only eleven days long, but it was up to the instructor when he would start the class.  Well, we found out that date today.

Instead of the first week of June as we had hoped, Michael will start IFR training in the middle of June.  Which means he'll be done around the 1st of July.  He went from ten weeks to just under sixteen. 

If that wasn't frustrating enough, now we have to decide if him doing Recruiter's Assistant for the two weeks after training is going to make sense.  It would be great to him to have a few days to see family and friends before we move.  And to help me with all the moving preparations.

But my sister gets married the third weekend of July and if he does RA, we'll be moving the week before her wedding.  I'm not so sure I'm sane enough to drive ten hours in a car by myself, unload all our worldly possession in our new home (hopefully right away), and then drive those ten hours back to be in my sister's wedding.  And then of course, turn around a few days later and do the drive all over again.  I might spontaneously combust or something.

Of course, he still doesn't have his official orders yet so this could all change even more.  We could end up going somewhere completely different.  Which would mean he may not have IFR training at all.  Or he could have some other training.  Who knows, right?

I don't even want to think about how this all affects our housing situation.  We can't get on the waiting list for on-base housing without orders.  Ugh.

I know that the Air Force is a pretty large organization with a lot of stuff going on, and I get that.  I know we're not the only military family to face these problems--honestly, I think most families have similar frustrations every single time they move.  But I was hoping with all my might that our first move wouldn't be completely insane.

I should have known better.

Wordless Wednesday

Since I raved on and on about why I love being a parent in my last blog post, I decided to share a few more pictures of my beautiful offspring.  Honestly, she's about the cutest kid you ever saw.  I know I'm bias, but since I hear it everywhere we go, I'm sorta thinking it's true.

Princess Belle was not thrilled that Mommy was blocking her viewing of Dora.

Her outfit choice, I assure you.

Easter 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life With a Two-Year Old

I love being a parent.

But sometimes my two year old drives my nuts!

And since I hate feeling that way, I decided to reflect on why I love being a parent, to give me patience during these sometimes oh-so-terrible twos.

I think the thing I love most about being a parent is watching Evie grow into her personality. Some people say she gets her attitude from me--but if that's suppose to be an insult, I don't get it.  I think it's amazing how independent she is, and I don't see anything wrong with having opinions.  Of course she can be demanding too, but she has amazing manners for a two year old.

I also love watching her learn new things.  I think at every stage in her development I've said, "I love this age" and meant it with all my heart.  It has been amazing to watch her grow from a tiny newborn to a crawling infant to a toddler who can hold a pretty steady conversation.  Just a year ago, she was seeing a speech therapist because of a perceived speech delay and now she talks more than most children her age.  Every new thing she learns makes me burst with pride.  I know every parent thinks her child is smart and perfect--I just happen to know it's true.  :)

I absolutely love how girly Evie is.  I may be a feminist to the bone, but that doesn't mean that I'm not completely in love with fairy tales and the color pink.  And thankfully, so is my daughter.  Everything is pretty or beautiful to her, and if you somehow label it princess, she's automatically in love.  She wears tutus over her clothes, carries a purse, and has a million pairs of shoes.  It's awesome.

Especially when she dresses herself in the middle of the night.

Being a parent often leads me to think about my own childhood.  It is easy for me to get lost in the past when television shows and toys from my childhood are readily available for new parents to buy.  Evie loves watching all the old Disney movies as well as Fraggle Rock.  I was perusing the aisles at Target one day and found dolls of some of my old favorites:  Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake, and Rainbow Bright.

Were they really so awesome that twenty years later they resurface or is it just that so many of us cling desperately to those too-few years of innocence?  I wonder if our children will be buying Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob toys for our grandchildren.  Dora I can live with.  Sponge Bob, not so much.

I guess thinking about all of the reasons why I love being a parent makes the bad days okay.  When it seems all I hear is whining and "I don't want to anymore!" (anymore is a favorite word right now), all I really have to do is look into that bright, hopefully-not-too-dirty face, and I remember why I do it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Melting Pot

So life has been a little hectic around here, but in a good way.  I went to visit Michael a couple weekends ago, and it seems to take me a little time to recoup from all the traveling.   Sadly, I forgot to get a shot of the two of us together, but I did manage to capture a fantastic one of him in his ABUs. Ladies, please keep the drooling to a minimum.

I've also been trying to enjoy this unseasonably awesome spring we've been having.  I'm thinking all this warm weather is Wisconsin's way of saying, "See, I'm not so bad.  Please don't leave me."  Yes, I'm the one accountable for the beautiful weather.  Feel free to bow down. 

So anyways, while visiting Michael at Tech school I came to a realization.  Probably many people have already figured this out, and I'm just behind.  And maybe in essence, I did know this.  But seeing it with my own eyes just made it more real to me. 

The military is a melting pot.

When you think about it, the military brings men and women from all over the country, and tells them to work together to achieve the ultimate goal:  achieve the mission.  No matter if you're male or female, you're white, black, yellow or somewhere in between, you hail from a metropolis or a small town...you must look past your differences and work as a team.  I think this is a beautiful thing.

If you know my husband, you probably know he's not the most outgoing guy in the world.  He doesn't go out of his way to make friends.  That's his personality, and I love him for it.  But going to BMT and then Tech School with a bunch of strangers that you're now expected to spend practically every waking minute with...well, that's going to lead to some changes.  And in my opinion, some great ones.

Men and women just like my husband are making friends with people they never would have before, either because of prejudices or the simple fact that their paths never would have crossed.  They broaden their social circles--friends are no longer based on skin color, gender or social class.  They ban together within their flights, with their roommates, with the others in their specialties.  It's like college, but way more intense.

Maybe it's the sociology nerd in me, but this realization made me even more excited for our move in a couple of months.  I like bearing witness to the interactions between people so the goings-on of a military base ought to be for me what a candy store would be for a five year old.  Pure heaven.