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    excited about the final countdown.

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    craving kisses and hugs and hand holding and snuggles and...

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    hating that there is no way he will be home for our anniversary.

    missing the way it feels to have my arms around him.

    wondering what fun to plan when he gets back.

    readingUndead and Unwelcome by MaryJanice Davidson .

    listening to The Night Santa Went Crazy by Weird Al.

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Military Mondays

Here it is. The final Monday before Matt is home. I can’t believe it’s finally here! I still have a few more days to countdown but I am so excited I could pee my pants. But I won’t cuz that would be gross.

Last week it snowed for a day straight and we got about a foot. The three days following were crisp, clear and beautiful. I was able to clear the driveway and Bravo and I had some fun in the snow until he got cold and faked a hurt paw so he could go back in the warm house. The wussy. The snow plows didn’t clear the roads in our neighborhood until 3 days later when the day’s high temperatures were in the single digits and vehicles had had plenty of time to pack it into a dangerously slick surface. Driving to and from work on Saturday was ridiculous, but mostly because of other drivers going treacherously slow and tapping their brakes at every bump in the road.

New Year’s Eve was massively depressing. I was invited to a party in CDA and to the Chandlers’ house in Sandpoint. But I wasn’t budging from the safety of my house. With the roads as icy as they were it would have been scary to drive that far anyway, but with the addition of New Year’s drunks I was not even entertaining the idea. Matt certainly doesn’t want to come home to a dead wife. I chose to get into bed at 7:30pm and channel surf until Matt got online to chat with me at 11pm. We were online together at midnight my time. It was depressing but nice at the same time. At least we were together in a way.

I’m getting very nervous about our reunion. And of course there has to be family drama over his return. Sometimes I just don’t know where I get the patience to be civil with his family. His mother called me while I was at work yesterday to find out when his flight is. I explained that I hadn’t told her yet because he’d asked me not to until it was for sure. He has tickets for Friday, but there is a teeny tiny possibility that he could be home Thursday night. Anyway. She goes on to whine to me “well we all really want to be there but how are we supposed to organize anything if you can’t decide on a date?” Yes, because all of this is completely under my control. Thanks Tami. So after I calmly set her straight on the situation she sighs heavily and says “well, I suppose I can set someone up to cover me on Friday if needed. Thankfully Cait only has a game on Tuesday” (obviously if there were a game that would take precedence over the return of their eldest son from a deployment). Then she tells me that they are all planning on coming over on Saturday to do the Secret Santa exchange that I was forced into agreeing to at Thanksgiving. Thanks for just inviting yourself to our house the very next day. Is there anything else you would like to do to make me want to hit you with something blunt? I steadied myself and told her that we hadn’t done our shopping yet because Matt asked me to wait so we could go together. “Well Addison is going back to college on the 10th so we really need to do it before then.” Fucking kill me. The best I could respond with is “we’ll figure it out once Matt gets home.”

I was still steaming when I got home from work a couple hours later. I sat on the couch trying to think of some way to make their presence at his homecoming a positive experience, but all that kept running through my head was the image of Matt’s mom pushing me aside so she could hug him first. The nightmare continued for a while with various scenarios including me pulling her off of him by the hair, my mom throwing out and arm and cloths lining her before she reached him, and her tripping on my dad’s foot and breaking her nose with a gratuitous amount of blood spill. While I waited for Matt to get online so I could find out what his thoughts were I vented to my mom whose helpful advice was “I hate her” and “she is evil.” Leave it to my mother to stoke the embers of my anger.

So when I was finally able to talk to Matt the conversation didn’t go exactly as I was planning. I really wanted to leave out the details to spare him the stress and the drama during his last few days, but instead the entire story came out and he got all sorts of riled up with me. He basically said that everyone can fuck off and die if they are going to act like that. For once I’m not angry because of how the in-laws are treating me, this time I’m flaming mad because they are so self involved that they haven’t stopped to consider what Matt might want when he first gets home. He’s the one that has been away all this time, shouldn’t it be his decision what happens? I shared my terror of the scene I kept replaying in my head and surprisingly Matt admitted to having the same fear. This solidified my opinion that his family needs to not be there, but I kept that to myself. It isn’t my decision. Matt is the one who has been away and he deserves to have the people he cares about there to welcome him home.

In his rage he said the sweetest things. “it’s about OUR reunion…this isn’t about anyone else but us so they should be listening to us…none of them understand what it’s like to be us so they can go f-off”

I love this man.

7 Years

Today is fucking awful. Even as I’m doing my best to pretend that today is just another day and not think about the fact that it is our 7th wedding anniversary and I am alone everyone seems out to destroy any piece of good mood I may have been able to clutch onto.

I came in to work to find all our milk was frozen thanks to the single digit temperatures and my boss not having a heater on.

Me: Just so you know our milk is a bit frozen so it is taking just a bit longer to heat it up.

Customer: oh ok

Two seconds later as I’m pouring the milk…

Customer: WHY is the milk LUMPY!?! HOW DARE YOU TRY TO FEED US SPOILED MILK!

Oh. My. Gawd. A repeat of my explanation and 5 drinks later no tip. Grrr.

Scenario #2

A Special Ed van pulls up and orders 10 small hot cocoas, a 32 ounce 12 shot latte, and an Italian soda. Nothing I can’t handle. I explain that our milk is somewhat frozen and it is taking a tiny bit longer to get it hot. The driver says ok. Because I don’t have a carafe large enough for 120 ounces of milk I get what I can going fill up the drinks and start handing the finished ones out the window. Mainly so I could free up my work space, but also to get something done while I was waiting on more milk. Well the ‘special’ kids in the van start wigging out because not everyone got a drink right away, but as they hand the 5th one back I’m at the window with four more and have more milk steaming. I hand the driver the four drinks in exchange for a dirty look and tell her I’m heating the milk for the last cocoa and her latte. As I’m pouring the milk into the last cocoa she snaps out the window “You only gave me 9. I ordered 10.” And of course I get no tip on a $25 drink order.

Fuck my life right now.

Matt will be home in 5 days. I hope he will take me to buy a new snowboard and then to Silver Mountain for snowboarding so I can clear my head. Actually I don’t need snowboarding, I just need him; once he is home all will be right with the world.

Happy anniversary baby. Thank you for the last 7 years. They haven’t been easy, but no matter what I love you.

Military Mondays

Woo! Another week down and only one more Monday to go! I’m already almost bursting out of my skin. My back tingles every time I think about how close it is to our reunion. Matt said that he was assigned a seat on the plane out of there, but still no news on the commercial flights bringing him the rest of the way. Hopefully soon. I contacted a photographer from Operation Love to come take pictures at the airport and they need some advance notice, of course the military doesn’t know what that is.

Mom and Dad stayed the whole weekend. They left yesterday morning when I headed to work. I got up early this morning so I could vacuum all the fur off the couch. I am waiting until my days off to sweep the clumps off the floors and mop up all the paw prints. It was really nice having so many warm bodies in the house. The only time I heartbreakingly missed Matt was when a beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to my door with a sweet message from him. I cried uncontrollably for 10 minutes, thankfully no one was there to see it.

Working on Christmas was actually pretty awesome. Our latte stand was the only coffee place in town that was open. Thanks to that and people’s Christmas spirit I make some killer tips and reached my savings goal for Matt’s homecoming. I have 6 more days of work before he gets back so we will have lots of cash to blow on whatever he wants and maybe a new snowboard for me.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are my last days off before Matt comes home so I will be trying to get a lot done. On Thursday I have a doctor’s appointment downtown and Bravo is scheduled to be groomed. He will smell like candy canes. Friday is Mom’s birthday. I’m very concerned that her gift hasn’t arrived yet. It will really suck if it doesn’t show up in time. I am going to join her and dad for dinner somewhere. I have only one invitation for New Year’s Eve, but I would have to drive to CDA and drive all the way back, get basically no sleep and be to work at noon on the first. I think I will just stay at home and eat ice cream in bed while I chat with Matt and reflect on the 7 years we’ve been married.

Military Mondays

Holy crap it’s Monday again! In hindsight that was pretty fast. The individual days seem to be taking forever, but looking back now the countdown has moved along pretty quickly. Matt will be leaving in 2 ½ weeks and my world will be filled with bliss. We have been talking lately about our reunion and what to do during his two weeks of R&R. Both of us are nervous and excited. It is a weird feeling to want to touch someone again so badly but to worry if it will feel weird. Does 6 months of not kissing make you forget how to kiss? What if all of my favorite things about him have changed? Does he smell different, taste different? What if he’s picked up some terrible habit? What about me? What if these things have changed about me? I know it is silly to worry about these things, but six months is a long time. So much can change in 6 months.

So sadly, even though we are so close to his return, he will still be missing Christmas and our Anniversary. It is depressing to say the least. People have been getting very concerned about my spending Christmas alone. I tell them that I’m working that day and they make a sad face. “But you can’t be alone on Christmas!” most of them say. The Chandler’s actually decided that they were going to show up at my house and bring me dinner, which is the sweetest thing anyone has thought of doing for me. Of course, my folks couldn’t keep away either. Since I have Christmas Eve off they decided to load up the gang and head over that day. They will stay the night and possibly hang out while I’m at work on the 25th. I’m not too excited about the prospect of wet paws on my couch, but I am looking forward to having a full house for those couple days. I even decided to do something of a Christmas dinner. I’m going to cook a turkey breast in the slow cooker and cook up some stuffing & vegetables.

New Year’s is another story. On Matt’s last deployment I came across the perfect New Year’s dress. I was fully intent to wear it to ring in 2009 with my friends at the CDA bars, but at the last minute I changed my mind. It didn’t feel right to look so pretty with no one to kiss at midnight. So I saved the dress for another year; for the perfect New Year’s Eve out with my perfect husband. I thought about getting fancied up and going out this year but a) I’ve gotten zero invitations and b) it wouldn’t feel right to go out and have fun without him. So I’m going to do my best to treat it like any other day. Maybe if Matt isn’t busy we will be able to chat through midnight and sort of be together when our anniversary arrives.

Here’s hoping this week flies by like the last one. I actually have things to do on my days off (2 new books arriving Wednesday, haircut & groceries on Thursday) and then Christmas so that should help.

Military Monday

Week 25

Gawd! 25 weeks without my man! Seriously!?! I can’t believe I haven’t killed myself in some pathetic mishap. But there are still a few weeks left for that to happen.

This week’s most pathetic moment was when I started bawling because of something on the news. My mom’s favorite fluff piece news person, Othello Richards, was interviewing people at the Medical Lake Veteran’s Cemetery where volunteers, friends, and family members of those resting there were participating in Wreaths Across America. The first person they showed was this little old lady who had just buried her husband on Monday. He was in the Air Force and they had been married for 55 years. “He died in our home. I was holding his hand.” I was a total mess after that. She was there all alone except her little dog. My heart just totally broke. My mom pointed out that at least they had 55 good years together, but it was still just so sad. She lost the love of her life and that is a pain that just doesn’t go away.

No new news about Matt’s homecoming, still no firm date but I’m definitely inside 30 days to seeing him again. I don’t think it will feel right until I have flight numbers and times. I’m starting to feel that anxiety about having him home again. There is that wonderful honeymoon period where we’re just thrilled to be together again, but it takes some time to build a new routine. I have been living on my own for 6 months, I have developed a way of doing things without him and I know I will have to keep reminding myself to let him do things when he comes home and to not expect them to be done the way that I am used to. Then there’s that awful has he changed/has she changed question. Sure, we’ve been in almost constant contact since he left but 6 months is a long time. People can develop new opinions, new personality traits, new interests in that time and there are parts of him that I will have to relearn and get to know for the first time.

His parents don’t understand. This is their first time experiencing this firsthand, so I don’t expect them to get it, but they are really bad at listening to me. I tried to explain that we won’t be making trips over Idaho for at least that first month and that we probably won’t want to have visitors for a bit either. But they just think its nonsense. Or at least his mother does. She is completely intent on recreating Christmas with him. She invited the entire family to come to our house for Secret Santa exchange and told me I have to leave all the Christmas decorations up until then. I tried to gently explain to her that there is a reason that we won’t be setting aside entire weekends for extended family, but she was already onto another topic. Matt and I will need that time to get used to each other again and basically rebuild our marriage. It’s not that he won’t want to see anyone but it is our time and it is best to not have too many obligations at once. I know that this is one of the things that most people will never understand, but it is still irritating.

So away I go again, filled with anxiety and impatience. At least Christmas is almost over.

Military Mondays

Week 24

Matt has 30 days or less until he is on a plane making his way back to me. It kind of feels unreal. My days are going by so slowly that it still feels like his return is ages away. It would help if we knew something for sure. But of course the military keeps everyone in the dark until the last possible second. I still (probably in vain) have my fingers crossed that he will be home by our anniversary. A girl can hope I suppose.

My mom and dad surprised me on Saturday by bringing the MegaMatt home. This morning I was up at 5am to take it to my boss’ husband’s detail shop. I was really irritated that I had to be up that early for anything, but I love my husband and there was no way I was going to clean the beast. It was so strange to drive the monster of a truck. I’m used to my Jeep and its somewhat compact capability. Driving the MegaMatt is like driving a semi (and it is 2 inches away from being as tall as one). Thankfully the roads were clear and dry. By 10:30am it was back home safe in the garage. I’m not entirely thrilled with the detail job and I certainly won’t be recommending anyone pay full price for their services. I suppose I can handle taking some Windex to the smudges they missed on the windows and shining the spots off the chrome grille. I would post pictures, but Matt is sometimes one of my readers so I don’t want to spoil the surprise upgrades.

I’m really trying to keep myself busy in these last few weeks alone. I made sure that I had a full work schedule for the month and I’ve made a list of things to complete before he gets back. This past week I put up the second shelf in the laundry room, exchanged and re-hung the busted living room shelf, got a bit further on my photo project for our bedroom, and finally filed the months worth of bills I’ve been chucking out of sight in the back room. My mom and I decided to reserve a booth at the Post Falls High School Craft Fair next fall. We are going to sell fabric garlands and a few other hand crafted items. This week I made this beautiful lighted Christmas garland. It is 26 feet long with on a set of 100ct lights. Ridiculously long, I know, but this one was the trial and I think it looks really nice over my living room windows. I bought several shorter (12 foot) strands of lights from WalMart the other day and I think this week I will make a trip to the fabric store. Tying those should keep me busy for a few hours a day.

I’ve been invited to two birthday parties this weekend. One is for a 6 year old and the other is a girls night at a casino. I probably won’t go to either because I can’t abandon my dog for 24 hours, and the weather is supposed to not be so great this weekend. The only Christmas event I’m planning on attending is the Gingerbread House Build-off at the Davenport on Sunday. Sadly the rest of my month looks painfully uneventful.

Military Mondays

Week 23

Ladies and gentlemen all we have to do is make it through December!

If any of you have been keeping track of the weather in the Northwest, you know that it has been freezing and snowing for about a week now. I had a nice Thanksgiving with the families and after purchasing my Black Friday deals online my folks and I decided to skip the tradition this year as this Christmas will be a lonely one. I was able to head home early Friday afternoon when the roads were decent. I arrived home to 4 fresh inches of snow on my driveway that I promptly removed via snow blower. (Perhaps it needs to be named? No machine can be loved so dearly and not be given a name. Suggestions welcome.) Bravo and I spent the evening on the couch, I with a book and some hot tea; him cuddling with his teddy bear. This morning I tried to decide if it would be better to remove the next 3 inches we received overnight right away or to wait until I got home for work. I opted for right away. After Bravo and I returned from our walk, I was ready to head out the door when the snow plow came by and pushed a 2 foot birm of heavy, sticky snow right in front of my freshly cleared driveway. It was irritating to say the least. But this was another opportunity for me to hug my Jeep and tell her how much I adore her. I hopped into the heated leather seat, gave it a little gas and we bombed right through that barrier. I giggled as I drove away. If I had some dinky little car or even a lesser SUV I would have spent a good hour having to shovel a path to the street. I heart you Sheila. And I heart Matt for making sure I chose a safe & capable vehicle. Thankfully we had a little break from the snow on Sunday and Monday, but there is another 8 inches coming in tonight. >insert unenthusiastic ‘woo’ here< If I hadn’t promised myself I wouldn’t go shopping in December I would be more excited because I would be ordering a new snowboard and getting boots and hitting the mountain. But alas, I am going to be a cheap ass.

Even though it is the final month my loneliness seems underlined by the romantic holiday commercials and the family traditions that are utterly depressing to attempt alone. Coming home last night I noticed several homes in the neighborhood with their Christmas lights on. So I decided it was time to drag out my decorations and put up the tree. I drug the 5 (yes 5) totes of Christmas paraphernalia into the house and assembled our 7ft tall tree. I plugged in the lights and opened the tote holding our ornaments and started to cry. There was no way I could bear the effort of hanging all those shiny globes only to take them down just before Matt arrived home, let alone unwrapping our sentimental ornaments and reliving the memories attached to each one. So after enjoying a good 5 minutes of freedom the tree went back in the box and everything went back out into the garage. God this is depressing. But now I don’t have to clean any of it up and my home will be reminder free of the fact that I am utterly alone for Christmas and most likely our anniversary. Bah Humbug!

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