Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My little princess turned two today. It was so sweet. Her Daddy sent me a text from Afghanistan a minute after I updated my Facebook status. Thank you Facebook world, for wishing my baby a happy birthday. She appreciated each and every comment. Ha! If you believe that a two year old really gave a whoot who said what on my Facebook, you’re seriously deluded.

Obviously Daddy was not here for the festivities--hence the text messages from abroad. He said he didn’t have time to call, but I was glad to hear from him today, one way or another. He told me that he had received the most recent packages that were sent to him. Including the ones for Father’s Day & our wedding anniversary, and his birthday. I am very proud of those care packages, thank you very much. I worked hard on them.

Between two boxes, I sent him ten greeting cards, two books, cupcakes, candles, army men, novelty t-shirts, and one hot pepper necktie. Oh, and one package of thirty-six noisemakers. I wanted to make sure that my husband could celebrate with all the fan fair that I would have given him if he were here. I would like to think that he also groaned at all the fan fair just as he always does when he’s home.

We’ve reached a very pivotal point in the deployment. I like to call it Homecoming-limbo. Most of the deployment is over. I have a generally-specific idea of when my husband will be arriving. The banner has been ordered and received. I’ve taken care of my end of all the special homecoming projects. I have the outfit, even.

But, we still have many moons to wait until the hubbs returns. I can’t do the psycho-Homecoming clean, my children will mess up the house in less than a day. I can’t shampoo our carpets, the kids and dogs will create more stains within a week. We live on base, so no travel plans to make. I’m hard-pressed to find things to keep my mind occupied for the next **** weeks. (ah ah ah ... OPSEC, I can’t tell you how many weeks are left, sillies!)

Now, I’m sitting here blogging. Editing, writing, cooking, eating and entertaining. Yet, my mind still has time to wander and think about the fact that Homecoming is getting closer, but is still so far away. The only thing left to do is to fall back on a classic. I think I’ll head to Youtube and do a search. “Bored Marines” sounds about right, should keep me entertained for at least a few days.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, My Papi

Today is my husband’s birthday, and I’m not going to be able to spend it with him. I don’t even know that I’ll be able to talk to him at all. The strange part is, I’m okay with that. It’s not that I don’t love him, it’s not that I don’t care, but I know that he is extremely busy right now. He’s taking care of what he needs to, so that he can come home to us safe, and in one piece.

It’s amazing how being married to someone in the military changes your prospective. Four years ago, I would’ve kicked my husband out for missing our anniversary. This year, I celebrated alone. I was traveling, actually. The girls and I were stuck overnight in Atlanta, and didn’t make it home until our anniversary. I knew that my husband was out on a mission, and I didn’t hold out any hope for a phone call. Imagine my delight, and surprise, when I received a text/email from my love two days later telling me how sorry he was that he wasn’t able to call on our special day. It blows my mind how this time apart has made my husband so sentimental.

My husband is, for lack of a better term, an ass. He has been called a jerk at times, also. He celebrates birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries because I make him. I remind him when he needs to call his mother on her birthday. Sorry Cindy, he still doesn’t remember, after being your son for 29 years, when your birthday is. I buy gifts and write his name on the card for him. Or, I hold out the card for him to sign, and then afterward he asks me who the card is for.

But since being apart, he has sent me flowers for Valentine’s day. Jesse let me pick out my birthday gift. He has sent me three gifts from Afghanistan. And he remembered our anniversary. Who is this man? And what has he done with my husband?

Apparently, this deployment has changed him.

This month has been a hard one without Jesse. I went home to Iowa on vacation. We were there for a week, and were part of a huge celebration at the Buddhist Temple. Jesse would’ve loved it. He loves to learn about my family’s culture and religion. Oh, and the food! I smile just thinking about the kid-in-a-candy store grin he gets on his face when he gets to eat asian food.

The anniversary of his graduation from Boot Camp is the day before our wedding anniversary. Half a week later was Father’s Day. Today is his birthday, and the month rounds out with Abby’s second birthday next week. All very special occasions for me. All times when I bribe him into a good mood with food.

I miss my other half. But I’ve learned that even though he misses all these moments back home, he is doing something much needed. If he weren’t off where he is, doing what he does, we may not be able to enjoy these birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. Since being married to my Marine, I’ve learned not to take the little things for granted. Because even when he’s “home,” he isn’t always home for the celebrations. He’s first married to the Marine Corps, and sometimes she gets all his attention.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What the H is on Your Face?!

The Afghanistache. Who told the men that when you deploy it is “the cool thing to do”? My husband looks like a cop from a bad 80s movie. Or an officer that was followed on COPS in the 80s. This thing is not just bad-it’s downright awful!

In the Marine Corps, the men are allowed to have facial hair, within reason. That means it has to be trimmed to a certain measure from the corners of the mouth, above the lip, and below the nose. On most Marines, it comes out resembling something from the Adolf Hitler era. And somewhere in the Guy-ble, under military, subsection deployed/extended training, it must be stated that the men must grow one of these hideous mustaches.

The Afghanistache was funny ... until my own husband grew one. It started out as a CAX-stache. He grew it when they were in California while they were out for pre-deployment training. Then, it looked like your average, hilarious Hitler mustache.

My husband is part Italian and German. He’s a hairy guy, that includes his face. Not much for sideburns but can grow a stache like no one’s business. His Afghanistache looks like one of those hairy brown caterpillars has taken up residence right under his nose. I think it catches the crumbs from his food. I’m waiting for it to mature enough to dangle from his left ear and make a cocoon. I hope it turns into a beautiful butterfly looong before homecoming.

We have been lucky enough to video teleconference with my husband for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Leading up to Mother’s Day, my husband had been repeatedly asking me to send him these tiny little scissors that he uses to trim his nose hairs. Yes, we’re so old my husband now has to trim his nose hairs. I couldn’t find them, so I never sent them.

He had told me that he had grown an Afghanistache before the teleconference, and I was dreading seeing it again. But, when we sat down in the room he was clean shaven. Silly me thought that he had shaved for the occasion. Oh how I over-estimate him sometimes. No, he didn’t shave for me. He shaved because he had to. His mustache had grown out of “regs.” Those little scissors? Not for his nose, but for the ‘stache!

At the Mother’s Day VTC we had an extensive conversation about how much I hated the “stache” and prefer him clean shaven. So, for Father’s Day, I assumed that he would shave again, so that I wouldn’t have to see the thing. Again, I overestimate my husband. I would like to say I don’t, but I do.

It was there. The Afghanistache. That thing is going to haunt me in my dreams tonight. Today, I was forced to face it live via satellite. It is so much more awful live. It wiggles when he talks. At times I felt as though it was going to jump through the screen at me.

I told him he better shave that monstrosity before he comes home. He said he’s kind of enjoying it. I said he’d better enjoy the heck out of it for the next few months. If he steps off the bus with that thing still attached to his face, I refuse to kiss him. He thinks I’m kidding. Well, my best friend will be there taking photographs for us. I can guarantee she will see some of me running away from that thing.

Afghanistache. Ew.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Passport to Iowa?

I’m in Iowa for a week. I came home for a gigantic celebration at the Buddhist Temple that my parents are a large part of. The Asians have taken over Storm Lake, even more so than usual. It’s crazy Asian up in here.

I forgot what it was like to be in Iowa. As in, I forgot about “the smell of money.” I thought I was gonna die on the drive home from the airport. Once we got off a major highway, I was bombarded with a plethora of smells. Turkeys. Hogs. Beef. Chicken. Thank goodness we drove home in the middle of the night. I was able to bypass the stink during the hottest hours of the day. I threw up a little in my mouth, just thinking about it. Ew.

I am also a grown woman back in my mother’s home. I have not spent more than three days at my mother’s house in the last three years. This is so weird. Her house is not my own. My mother did not buy her current home until after I had already moved out on my own. So, I can’t really consider this coming “home,” either. The feeling is immensely weird. I pray that nothing ever happens to my marriage, because I don’t think I could ever move into this house, no matter how short the period of time. This place is just too weird.

Some of the members of our family are meeting Miss Abigail for the first time ever. Poor thing, she is Daddy’s little girl, and with him gone, she has literally attached herself to Mommy’s butt for the last five months. It has been an experience to try to get her to open up to all her aunts, uncles, and cousins. She has run screaming in between my legs at every occasion. Only slightly uncomfortable. There is one person she likes, though. Uncle Inpane. There’s something about that guy. He is the favorite relative of all my girls. They see him and automatically think to jump on his back and shriek, “giddyup, Uncle Inpane!” I love it! Grandma Tia’s just a little jealous.

Grandma has been spending almost all of her time at the Temple, unfortunately. They’re here, and my children still miss their Gramma. It is absolutely amazing what is going on out there. On the property, in the last couple days, a small village of tents and canopies has gone up. You can buy everything from Pho, to cheap toys, clothes, alcohol and spiritual healing. I have to admit, it is on such a large scale that I’m intimidated to be a part of it. My mother has asked me to be a “flower girl.” I don’t speak Lao, Thai or Hmong, not sure how I’m going to be getting donations from people that don’t speak English. Hmm ... I’m not sure what she was thinking, asking me, but I’m still honored to be a part of something so huge. Now, I just have to figure out where to put my phone and camera in my totally cute dress.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Been a While

Been a While

Been a while now

Since I heard your voice

Been a while now

Since you’ve heard mine

Been a while now

Since I saw your face

Been a while now

Since you touched mine

Been a while now

Since you hogged the bed

Been a while now

Since I stole the covers

Been a while now

Since you took out the trash

Been a while now

Since I washed your laundry

Been a while now

Since I complained about your video games

Been a while now

Since you complained about my singing

Been a while now

Since you woke me up at O’dark thirty

Been a while now

Since I packed your lunch

Been a while now

Since I dropped you off

Been a while now

Since you kissed me good-bye

Been a while now

Since you first called home

Been a while now

Since I realized you were really gone

Been a while now

Since I went to sleep alone

Since I woke up alone

Since I started wanting you home

Been a while now

Since you called

Been a while now

Since you said you love me

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