Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ah! I am so nervous for school!! My summer classes posted tonight and they start in just five days! I don't know why I'm so nervous. It seems like a life time since I've written a paper or studied! Two years has gone by so quickly. I think I'm just working myself into a mess. I tend to do that! Hopefully I rock these classes! Hopefully I can manage to rock them before we leave for Hawaii! Our trip and anniversary is coming up so soon!! Last night I convinced Travis we should open our anniversary gifts early. I half couldn't wait, half out of necessity so he could put leave in. I got him tickets to the Pebble Beach car show! So we are going to the car show of all car shows and then going up to San Francisco for a couple of days!! So if anyone has San Francisco recommendations, I'm all ears. I can't wait!! He can't wait!! lol It's been a long time since we've been car show-ing together. This will probably be our once in a lifetime chance. Next year he'll be deployed for Pebble Beach and the year after we should be getting ready to PCS. And I got a pasta machine! I have always wanted to try and make home made pasta! When we come back from Hawaii I will try it out and post my wonderful pasta!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I have to share! Travis got me the cutest mugs as part of my anniversary gift!

Love my Marine!

His and Her Mugs <3

I have officially finished wrapping Travis' anniversary gift! Since I can't tell you all what is inside, I figured I'd show the outside. I may or may not have avoided a lot of cleaning, but it had to get wrapped at some point.. right? Some of it goes onto the side where you can't see. The following line is the lyrics to "All My Tomorrows" by Frank Sinatra, which is our song.
I've been really needing to get this off my chest.
I think at some point every single military wife grapples with the question, "is it worth it?".
While I try not to keep tally, it inevitably creeps in. Our two year anniversary is coming up next week. That's 24 months of martial bliss. Travis has spent one quarter of our marriage in Afghanistan. Almost three quarters of our marriage has been spent living apart, consumed by field exercises, training, and schooling. That leaves this grasping at straws feeling with me. Weeks where you try to ignore the constant coming and going, unpacking and repacking, and try to make the most out of the time you have together, which is easier said than done.
While we were at the VA marriage retreat, there was a couple there who had just finished their fourteenth deployment. Fourteen deployments in the Marine Corps is somewhere in the neighborhood of at least 100 months of just deployment time. One hundred months is over eight years. That doesn't include the many many weeks of field exercises and training to prepare for deployments. Is that worth it? Is missing countless holidays and birthdays worth it? Is being gone when you need each other most?
The yes or no answer may be in a gray area. But these are some things I do know. I know that we love each other. I know we are together purely by choice and sheer determination because it would be simpler if we weren't. I know that even with Travis gone a lot, he is worth it. I know that our marriage is a lot stronger than the people I am jealous of. When I am wishing I could just hold my husband's hand at Christmas, Thanksgiving, or during a birthday time like everybody else, I should remind myself that that moment in time is fleeting and quantity does not make up for quality.
I know we are freaking awesome together :) With Travis' next deployment speeding towards us, I should remind myself daily how lucky we both are to have each other.

On a lighter note, part of Travis' anniversary gift came in the mail today! I wish I could show you all but we still have a week to go!

Monday, June 13, 2011

This past weekend was amazing!
Travis and I went to Shelter Island in San Diego to attend a marriage retreat put on by the VA. I must admit I was a bit skeptical. You never know about the VA. But we had a wonderful weekend! The island and hotel were beautiful. The VA retreat, which was called From Warrior to Soul mate and based on the PAIRS foundation, was great. The Chaplin in charge did a wonderful job of presenting all the materials. I particularly enjoyed the wide variety of people that attended. The retreat was for veterans and their spouses. Well there were veterans of all kinds! There were couples that had been through many deployments, couples that just finished their first deployment. There was one couple who had just finished their fourteenth deployment!!! Fourteenth!! There was a nice mix of active duty, retired, medically retried, and all sorts of vets.
For anyone in the San Diego area looking for a nice weekend I would definitely recommend it. To be realistic, most military members are on a pretty tight schedule and taking a break to just enjoy time with your spouse is hard. There is always something to be doing for work. This was a wonderful opportunity to leave our house and just get away from all of our responsibilities so we could enjoy each other's company. We learned a few tools during the workshop that will in general make life easier. It was also a wonderful chance to talk to people we wouldn't normally talk to. We got to talk to all sorts of people who had been stationed all over the world, were retired or months away from retiring. You can learn so much from people who have been where you are going.
Here is the link to the VA's site about the retreat. (here).

Palm Islands hotel on Shelter Island

It was duck season! They were so cute!

View of San Diego from Shelter Island


Sail Boats

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finally all of my school stuff is coming together! I have classes ready for the summer semester and it's books are on their way. I just registered for fall semester classes. I can't wait to finish! I'm not quite sure on what the spring semester will look like. I want to go full time but I don't want to overload myself either. Though "official" dates haven't been released, Travis will be deploying sometime during the beginning of the spring semester in the new year. Sooooo not looking forward to him leaving but this should at least be his last deployment for his current enlistment. That's at least something to look forward to!
Well we're off to Shelter Island for the weekend!! :) I'm so excited since we've never been. We really haven't explored San Diego as much as I thought we would have. We've been stationed here for a little over a year but Travis has been gone for like 9 months of that! There is still so much I want to see before our time here is up!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is possibly going to sound a bit crazy, but I'd like to keep an updated review of a product we bought. You might think we're a bit gullible but so far it's actually working!
My husband and I were watching the tv show Shark Tank on ABC. If you aren't familiar, the show has five rich people who are investors. Small business owners or people with potentially great ideas come on to the show trying to convince one or more of the investors to invest in their company. Well the show we were watching had a product called CitiKitty (which you can see here). CitiKitty trains your kitties to go to the bathroom on the potty. I know! Sounds crazy! But the crazy thing is, it seems to be working! We've had it for about a week and we're about to take out the center ring so what they do actually goes into the potty. We have two adorable fur children, Dixie and Luke!

Me and Dixie Cat <3
Dixie Cat and I have a very special bond. I'm pretty sure she's the best cat ever! She's VERY smart, strong willed is an understatement, determined, the softest cat I've ever pet, and so sweet! I've had her for about 16 years. Sadly, Dixie does have some health problems we just learned about but it doesn't affect her much day to day right now. Travis always jokes if it were between him and Dixie being kicked out, it would be him. Somehow I'm always "taking Dixie's side". Hahahaha!! Dixie and I are two peas in a pod!

Luke is our jokester. He's quite large to say the least. He loves to play, run around, and is kind of an attention hog. Travis has had Luke since he was born but we took him just a couple years ago. Especially considering his size, he is a perfect embodiment of a scaredy cats!

So we are teaching our old cats new tricks! And I will let you guys know how it goes. So far, so good but we still have a ways to go! 
I have finally had a normal and helpfully experience with Camp Pendleton's healthcare! I've definitely had my issues with my PCM and then a referral I got to OBGYN at the NH was terrible! Those people were so rude! But I went in last week and actually had my appointment with a different lady. She was amazing. She listened to everything I had to say. I also showed her all my charts of the blood pressure readings I'd been keeping at home. Comes to find out I don't have high blood pressure. It really irritates me that my PCM diagnosed me with HBP and prescribed me medication for it, when in fact I don't have it and don't need the medication. The lady I saw also sent a referral up for an ENT appointment. I saw her on Friday, Monday the ENT people called and I got an appointment for Tuesday because someone cancelled! Amazing! They were really busy when I went so I had to wait a long time, but the doctor was super nice and I am very happy to announce that I will be getting my tonsils out!!! They have been such an annoyance! I'm hoping the wait list and Travis' training mesh and I can get them out as soon as I can. With the wait list, it looks like it will be sometime in September or October. Since that should be nearing the end of predeployment training, I hope it all works out. I'll be in school during that time so I hope it doesn't take too long to recover.

I also have to share some photos! Travis and I made homemade pizza last week. It was amazing. Best pizza! We, of course, used our Alton Brown's recipe. The dough rises over night before you punch it down and that time really makes it taste so much better!

The Sauce - Amazing!!

Travis' Pizza - Pepperoni and Banana Peppers

My Pizza - Banana Peppers and Portobello Mushrooms

Travis and his pizza...

My Finished Pizza

Me and My Pizza

They were amazing! And the sauce was terrific. We used all the left over tomato sauce in some spaghetti last night and it was wonderful. For those of you who may want the recipes, they come highly recommended! Sauce Recipe and Pizza Dough Recipe. It was worth the work!

Also, I have to give a quick shout out to explosive eod techs wife life's blog. I received a very sweet angel in the mail from her giveaway. Thank you!!! I found a great place for it!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy June everyone!! I am very excited to see June hit! It is going to be a wonderful month and summer!!

This month Travis and I will be heading to Hawaii for our second wedding anniversary and our make-up honeymoon! I am beyond excited!! I should also go on record saying I have thought of the best anniversary gift, maybe best ever! :) This will be the best anniversary yet. Unfortunately our wonderful wedding ended with Travis leaving for training. Married on Saturday and he was out on Monday. Our first anniversary, I am very happy to say we were able to spend together. But we also had to attend a pre-deployment brief, so a little bit of a buzz kill you could say. Third time is a charm! I can't believe we've been married for almost two years! It seems like it's gone by in a blink of an eye but in the same time it feels like five years has been shoved into the two year time span. It's been a busy two years!
As if having our wedding anniversary isn't enough, that same week I will be starting school! I'm a bit hesitant about overloading that week but somehow I'll make it work. I hate the idea of waiting until August to start school. After dealing with all the crazy VA paperwork, I am so close to having it done I just want to start school! If everything goes as planned I should be graduating in about two years! (and as Travis says, "be his sugar mama" Hahaha!)