Friday, July 31, 2009

Take Five Friday

1. I have had three people in the past two days ask me what is up with my blog, why I haven't been updating. I apologize. And trust me when I say I am doing you a favor: Do you REALLY want to hear me say, "It's really hot and dry here and we don't really like it so far..." every single day? I didn't think so!

2. It HAS been really hot and dry here. Like 100 and up for a month. We have cabin fever, only in the summer instead of the winter. We have only had one vehicle since we have been here, which has presented some logistical issues.

3. We live five miles off base, but then Chuck has another 10 miles across base to his actual work place. Not all that easy to zip home if we need the car, and the prospect of getting up at 0500 to take him wasn't all that appealing, either. If, you look up the definition of "morning person" in the dictionary, MY picture will NOT be there!

So, this week, we finally got a second vehicle. It's a pretty nice little pick-up, a 2000 Ford Ranger, super cab, that will do well on gas AND haul our camping stuff. We're all pretty exicted. Me especially since, "I got my car back! I. got. my. car. back!" I sing as I do my happy dance.

4. Chuck and I FINALLY went on a date last Saturday. We went to lunch and movie and had uninterrupted adult conversation! It was REALLY nice. Between trying to get settled and his work schedule, this was a much needed respite. AND we found a sitter that actually interacted with the boys, played games, the house wasn't trashed when we got home and the boys loved her. THAT is a big bonus!

5. We went to a membership appreciation dinner at the club on base and they were giving away FREE (nice) backpacks loaded with school supplies to the kids. I was SO excited...that stuff adds up! I jokingly say that we spend their college tuition on school supplies, events, fund raisers and projects, so I am NOT too proud to take anything free!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Small Successes


1- I planned the week's menu and went grocery shopping WITH A LIST for the first time since we've moved.

2- I found spots for the boys at the youth center so that I can go to a spouse briefing on base tomorrow.

3- I am making a concerted effort to "find the beauty" in a rather ugly, dry, and dead looking geographical area. It's amazing what really is there when once chooses to change their focus.(Kind of like life, sometimes, right?!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Small Successes


It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.

1- I am NOT letting myself get crazy (or driving everyone else there in the process) about the last few "loose ends" that need to be done around here post-move. So there are a couple of boxes and pics without homes hanging out in our bedroom. The world hasn't stopped, and I am kind of surprised at how laid back I've been about this. If you knew me in real life, you'd totally be applauding right now!

2- I have only partially planned a trip to San Francisco-Pier 39 on Saturday. I am just going with the flow for the rest of it. Do you see a theme's been a peaceful week in these parts!

3- I have chosen a recipe and have a list made of things I need to get for a dish I am making and taking to Family Home Rosary Group tomorrow night!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Reason #629 why we are glad Chuck is home: Chuck's homemade pizzas for family movie night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

About Michael Jackson

While I am praying for his soul and his true friends and family (especially his children), I can't watch tv anymore! Can't stand the hypocrisy of the media! For decades all people have done is slam the man, drag his name through the dirt, etc. ( with or without just cause). Now he's something to celebrate?! No, he's just another way to get ratings.

He was a very talented artist, there is no denying that. But WHERE were all of these 'friends' and 'fans' as he struggled through life?

I'd like to see just 1% of this 'respect' and media attention given to the real heroes that die for our freedom in our country."

For the Sake of Honesty (or Post-Move Adjustment Disorder)

I haven't been saying a lot, because, well, I've not been in an all uplifting and cheerful mood. Moving is hard on me. I don't like leaving friends (and in this case, family) behind, I don't like having to learn the ins and outs of a new area, when I just figured out what works at the last place. Meeting new people is hard for me. I know that sounds weird, but that small talk one has to do to get to know one better wears me out. I tend to like maintaining fewer, yet deeper, relationships, the ones who know me, all of me, and love me anyway. I'm not a good military wife when I admit these things, just honest.

Since Chuck and I have married (and I was married to him BEFORE he joined the AF, so I can say these things), we have moved EIGHT times in 15 years. It was fun at first. Exciting to see new places and meet new people. We have lived in some awesome places and have seen amazing things and have made great friends, for which I am very grateful. But I am tired of it now. This move has been especially challenging because we only have one car right now, it is 15 miles to Chuck's work and so, we are kind of stuck most days. It has been EXTREMELY hot (in the hundreds), so the boys haven't gotten out to play much, have hardly even seen other kids their age. The area is dead and yellow looking, like a straw field in the fall, needing to be harvested. And even if transportation wasn't an issue, there is still nowhere within 20 minutes that has daily mass, and those are at times like 0600.

At this point, the physical landscape surrounding our new home is the perfect picture of what I am experiencing emotionally, and worse, spiritually.

I am trying hard to buck up. I am trying hard to do my duty. I know there is a transition period that we go through after each move, and this too shall pass.

I am glad to have my husband back from Korea. I am SO grateful that he has a job that supports us in this bad economy. That is a huge gift in itself. And I never take our good health for granted.

God promises, "My grace is sufficient for you..." And thank God for that, because sometimes in life, it is the only thing that carries us through.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July Fourth Fun

Water Balloon Fight

Craig- What a Perfect Shot
Jaden- He's in there somewhere!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Take Five Friday: The Travel Edition Vol. 2

Okay, I don't have to say it again: I've been neglecting my blog duties. (Are they duties if they are self-imposed?) Without listing the 100 reasons why I haven't been blogging, I'll just get on with it and finish up this travel log, so that we can all just move on already!

Take 1 (Day 3): Nebraska into Wyoming

This travel day turned out to be pretty uneventful. The cat was surely onto us by now, and Chuck had to completely lift the mattresses to get to Calamity for her meds, daily kenneling. This time, the foam Nerf sword we packed for such an occasion was futile. Highlights were crossing into the mountain time zone, showing the boys that you really DO cross the Platte River several times across Nebraska (6 to be exact) and getting into Wyoming at a good time.

Take 2 (Day 4): Wyoming

We were able to stay with my parents in Cheyenne. Accommodations were great and the food even better. The boys got to spend some good time with Mema and Papa, they enjoyed their dogs and the view of the many antelope and babies from their backyard. The boys got to make Wyoming Winds smelly jellies with Papa for their rooms, and even and extra for our new home. (The pumpkin crunch is really nice). We got to spend time with my brothers and we had a nice dinner both nights. We really enjoyed our time here, it was a nice respite and we hadn't seen them in a while.

One of the highlights for me here was catching up with one of my old friends, Jill, in person. She was the Maid of Honor in our wedding, and I haven't seen her since our 10 year high school reunion. (No, I won't say how long it's been SINCE then!) We did lunch with my mom and her husband, Ben (the guy from the rocking horse pic), and then she showed me Element Church where she is actively involved. They do a lot of great community outreach programs; I scored a little postcard advertising one of their upcoming programs that had a picture of *gasp* Kool-aid with no pants! The scandal!

Take 3 (Day 5): Wyoming and Utah

I was amazed to see how green Wyoming was as we travelled across the state. Honestly, I can't remember EVER seeing that much lush vegetation that wasn't in the mountains of Wyoming. I had been telling the boys how brown it was, but I'm okay that God made a liar out of me. It was a pretty drive.

However, there was funky smell coming from the back seat that would NOT go away. The boys said that it was coming from the cat crate (which was wedged between them on the backseat). We thought that maybe she had gotten sick again, she'd been howling and thumping around. Calamity decided that she had ENOUGH of this travel business and showed us her frustration by peeing on her bed and then flipping it upside down to try to bury the smell. It didn't work. Do you have a cat? Then you know the overwhelming, breathtaking (not in a good way) odor of cat pee. If you don't have a cat, trust me on this, it's comparable to the worst diapers I changed when the boys were little.

Thankfully, we had smelly jellies! However, a bad pungent odor masked by a just made smelly jelly in a car around the mountain passes of Park City is NOT a good idea. It made Craig nauseous and so the smelly jelly had to be capped off so that we were only dealing with one smell, breathing through our mouths, trying not to taste the stanky cloud of funk eminating from the crate. (The Pumpkin Crunch smelly jelly is a nice smell, don't get me wrong, just not mixed with cat pee!)

We got through Utah quickly, but then, we got to our night's stay in Wendover. The nicer places to stay don't allow pets, so let me just say that if you are travelling I-80 with animals, stay in Park City or SLC. The first room had umm, stains on the comforter. The second room had a door to an adjacent room that couldn't be locked. The third wasn't much better, but by this point, we were tired, cranky and just decided to suck it up.

We got our revenge though, by leaving the not-so-fresh cat bed behind in the hallway for garbage collection. It reminded me of the scene in National Lampoon's Vacation where Clark Griswold had just "cashed a check" at the hotel and rushed his family away from the Grand Canyon before anyone found the evidence or him. Good times, good times!

Take 4 (Day 6): Nevada into California

It took us 30 seconds to cross the state line into Nevada. Nevada along I-80 has NOTHING. Tons of sage brush, but for hundreds and hundreds of miles: nothing. Every once in a while, there would be a rest stop to give you hope. It was like being in the Twilight Zone, where you drive and drive and nothing changes! I don't know how pioneers in the wagon trains EVER got through this point. Every once in a while, we'd see a house out in the middle of nowhere. It was strange; we thought, did they just give up?! Did they decide the just couldn't go on and well, heck, just build here because insanity had overtaken them?!

And, another Vacation moment brought to you buy Jaden: peeing on the side of the road because in the words of Clark Griswold, "You see a gas station every 100 yards until you NEED one!" Or, in this case, a rest stop. It was that, or the kid used an empty water bottle in the back seat of the car. We'd had enough of pee in the car the day before, thanks!

Finally, we got through Nevada, into California, through the weird border patrol CA has between CA and bordering states, over the mountains, past Tahoe (which was a REALLY nice drive except the construction), and another hour or two down the mountains to FINALLY reach Beale!

Take 5 (Day 6-Same Day): It is dry and yellow. I wondered what happened to the green. Craig made a comment about wanting to go back to Ohio. Jaden said the dryness reminded him of dead things. I sat quietly, reminding myself not to judge a book by its cover, that God has a plan, and that this might be a good assignment yet!

We got to lodging on base, and they informed us that our room (that had been reserved in February) was not ready, and could we just go drive around for a while until it was ready? I thought, "Sure, why not, I mean, we haven't been in the car for FIVE DAYS, with two boys, a dog and a cat, in a smallish car, and NINE HOURS today. We'll really LOVE being in the car for even longer!" My patient and kinder-than-I husband did tell them all this, just in a much nicer way than I would. We drove around for an hour or so, went back, and it STILL was not ready. At this point, it was 5PM and I'd had ENOUGH. I went in this time, and kindly plead the crazy wife/mom story and PLEASE if you do not have our room ready soon, that the two boys and the dog and cat that are stuck in this car will come and hang out here, in the lobby. The room was ready in less than 30 minutes. I was nice (really, I was), but sometimes, a little bit of crazy thrown in has its effects.

Maybe that's why it's taken me so long to write about this: it's taken a bit for the craziness to wear off!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Backyard at Sunset