Let the countdown begin.

The last time I saw J in Oklahoma was April 27 at around 12:45pm - that's the day he left for BMT.  The last time I saw J in person was June 27 at about 3:00pm - the Sunday before he started tech school and the last day of graduation weekend.

The next time I'll see J in person - and in Oklahoma - is in 17 days.  October 15.  That's when he comes home.

It's been a long five months without him.  And I've been waiting for the [almost] two-week countdown to come to pass, because it's sucked being without him.  Sure, we've lived in two different cities for a good majority of our relationship/marriage, but at least I got to see him every weekend.  At least I got to talk to him every day.  During the past five months though, I've spent chunks of four days with him - which, when you add up the actual time together, comes out to less than 24 hours.  I was supposed to go visit - twice - but both times, things fell through.  I won't be able to make his graduation because of work, but at least he'll be home soon after.

I give major props to the wives who have gone through deployments.  I feel like such a big baby, missing J as much as I have during our time apart.  For crying out loud, he's just been in training.  I think just being separated like this, and not having ANY time together at all for such a long period of time, has been a huge adjustment.  I haven't even seen a picture of him in three months.  I don't even know what he looks like anymore - if he's kept his hair short, if he's lost/gained weight...and I haven't sent him pictures of me or JJ in just about as long, so he has no idea what's going on with us, either.  Granted, I haven't changed much, but JJ has definitely gotten bigger and is looking older than the last time J saw him.

Soon, he'll be moving to CO - and we'll make the move next year.  I'm not looking forward to separating again, but at least when he makes the move, I know that JJ and I will be right behind him.  It's nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel - finally.

Let the countdown begin.


WMW: You know you're a working mom when...

* You fall asleep with your toddler - and get up early to finish what should've been done after they went to bed, which includes answering e-mails and texts from the night before, as well as packing lunches and sippy cups.

* You rush out the door only half put together, finish some of it when you pull into the parking lot of the daycare, then finish the rest when you pull into the parking lot at work.

* When you go on a business trip, and all the women hit the mall, they shop for new clothes and shoes - and you do the same, but it's for the kiddo, not you.

* When you go on a business trip and leave the kiddo behind with Dad or grandparents, you call every hour to make sure he's OK. And demand they send pictures.

* Your child's diaper bag also doubles as a briefcase, which you cram all your important stuff in so that you have enough hands to carry said child up the stairs AND carry the bag.

* You never take sick leave for yourself - it's always because the little one is sick.

* Your lunch breaks are spent picking up medicine for the child, groceries for the child, taking the child to doctor's appointments...just things for him in general.

* When you go on a business trip and have to sit through boring presentations, you consider that a vacation. Of course, you'd rather be home with your son, but at least in the presentations, you can tune out and relax for an hour.

* It wasn't done on purpose, but your kids know where the keys are, grab them and try to get you out the door on time. My toddler does this - he'll grab the keys from their designated spot and start banging on the front door to make sure I know it's time to go.

* No matter how stressful work was, you sit in the parking lot at daycare and have a "Woosah" moment. You let all the negativity go before you step inside and pick up the child that's been dying to see you all day. And you look forward to that moment every.single.day.


Sports Sunday: OSU Football

**Note: I started this Sunday, finished Monday morning and published it now. In the future, I'll definitely try to get this out on Sundays!**

I had talked about making my Sunday blogs all about sports - and I think I'm going to do it. We'll see how this goes, and I totally reserve the right to change my mind about it. :)

So. Let's talk a little OSU football. I've been an OSU fan since I started college. Bought season tickets all four years I was in college, skipped out on the 2008 season [hello pregnancy] but still went to games, and we've been season ticket holders since last season. Being an OSU football fan has its ups [going 9-3 last season and heading to the Cotton Bowl] and downs [going 4-7 in 2005 and not winning a single road game]. It's had its man-up moments [gundy's famous speech in 2007] and its weak moments [les miles chuckin' the deuces unexpectedly after the 2004 season]. But overall, I've bled orange from the very, very beginning.

I know that we're not the best football team in the state - that title clearly belongs to OU. And I'm fine with that, because we have other sports [ou fans like to say the other sports don't matter, but that's not what they were saying when their basketball teams were good]. But the thing I love about OSU is that its fans are loyal. It doesn't matter what the season looks like, if we've lost 20+ starters [like we did this year], if we're projected to finish high in the BCS...they stay true year after year. And that's what makes being an OSU fan so fabulous. I know every year for the time being, we'll be sitting by the same season ticket holders because they'll be back. Every year, everyone in Stillwater will be pumped up about football, no matter the preseason projections. Sure, the bandwagon fans exist, but it's not too bad.

This year, we have a new quarterback - 26-year-old Brandon Weeden. I can't tell you how much crap I've gotten from other people about how our school has a quarterback that's considered old by NCAA standards [shoot, he's older than me - and many guys starting in the nfl are around his age or younger]. But he's held his own, even through a thumb injury that many fans are keeping an eye on and holding their breath. In Saturday's game, he threw for 409 yards and six TD's, and he did that in less than three full quarters of play. He was named Big 12 Player of the Week, broke a few records on Saturday and has been splashed on ESPN and on their homepage. I know that it's still very early in the season, but for all the doubters - check it out. OSU is still alive, Weeden's got a killer arm [and confidence], and we're doing OK.

I know that conference play can be a whole 'nother story. We haven't beaten OU or Texas in who knows how many years, we still don't really know if Weeden's thumb will hold up [hoping the bye week helps that], our offense/defense haven't really been tested against a Big 12 powerhouse...but with Big 12 play coming to town next week, the test is coming pretty quick. I just hope that no matter what, we can finish this season and say we did the best that we could given all the changes.

I'm also kinda hoping they play a bowl game in Dallas again. :)


Just some random updates on my 101 in 1001.

I've kinda stalled out my list just a little, but a couple of things I want to do can't fully be carried out at the moment. For example:

I'll have to change the one about eating out with my dad. He's been gone since July and could possibly be gone until the beginning of 2012. I'll figure something out with that one. I miss the heck out of my dad and hope he gets to come home for R&R in the spring.

I'll have to go back and change the Mavs one - I was going to the game on Nov. 24th, but this came up instead:


My sister and I got tickets to the OMG tour with Usher and Trey Songz on November 24th in Dallas. Um, HELLO. I love my Mavs and all, but I could NOT pass this opportunity up. A friend and I will sit in floor seats, and my sister dished out the money to sit closer in a VIP section. I like Usher's music and all, but I'm really going because of Trey Songz. I've gotten permission to think Trey Songz is hot...because, well, he is. I am SO stoked about this show. Like, whoa.

I'm starting to put things into motion for throwing a surprise get-together for J when he gets home. Only 28 more days...it seems like the past five months have flown by and gone slow, all at the same time. I'm just relieved that it's almost over and that J's doing well in school. I just wonder how JJ's going to do around him when he gets back. That'll be something we'll have to work on a lot before the move to CO.

The mood to watch Gilmore Girls has hit me, so I'm going to start re-watching the series this weekend. I miss that show oh so much, even though it's been over for more than three years. Lauren Graham [lorelai] is on another show, but I just don't really like it. Not the same as Gilmore, unfortunately. Sigh.

That's all I got for now - just a quick rundown of my list. Now, I'm off to catch up on sleep before work tomorrow. I'm considering turning my Sunday blog posts into sports posts - like, a recap of the week in sports - but we'll see. Not sure if I'm witty enough to keep up with it. *shrug*

Happy Friday all!


Working Mom Wednesday [my first one]!

So one of my lovely Nestie buddies wrote her own WMW, and I linked up to see what this is all about. I found this super blog written by a super mom, started following and decided to start participating. This should be fun and help me get on a roll with blogging more.

Anyhoo, today's topic is working life BEFORE kids vs. working life AFTER kids. Interesting topic. Let's dive in, shall we?

When I started working full-time with my first big-kid job, I was 21 weeks pregnant but feeling great. And, I'd taken off almost three months because I couldn't find a job, so I was ready to work. I had so much energy after work, even at that point in my pregnancy. I got in a full night's rest [most times], so I had the energy to see friends afterward, hang out with people and just chat it up. After JJ was born though...everything changed. So long, full night's sleep. So long, being in bed before midnight. So long normal bedtime routine.

During JJ's first year, I barely got any sleep, worked nine-hour days [and was on the road at least one week out of the month with my old job] and was really, really tired all the time. I usually worked late, got home late, dealt with an over-stimulated baby [who really, really hated baths] and was just generally exhausted. My sister lived with me for the first seven months and was a big help, but she had her own college stuff going on and was gone a lot. So, for the most part, it was me and JJ. I don't even really know how we made it through the first year in one piece - it was rough.

Now that he's older and sleeping better, it's been easier for me to sleep longer than an hour at a time. And, I moved to a much less demanding job, which has helped SO much. I don't work late anymore, don't travel, and I don't work weekends [all of which i did at my old job]. We now have a routine established for after work, and it's made my life so much easier. It's still a little tough raising a toddler by yourself, but our lives are way better now than they were last year. Thank goodness.

I guess the biggest change between working life before kids and working life after kids is that I have no free time after work - it's all JJ. I can't go with people to happy hour or meet up at the club on a Saturday night. Work functions after 5pm require me to find a babysitter [which is usually my sister, who lives an hour away], which can get hectic. But he has - and always will - come first. I want as much time as I can get with my little man after work as possible, so I try very hard not to work past 5pm. My sleeping habits suck [mainly out of habit than anything else], but I'm working on that. And, most nights, I have more energy to do stuff after work, so my apartment isn't nearly as much of a disaster area as it used to be. Adjusting to a routine that would work for me and JJ was very, very hard - but now that we've got one established, life is good.

I think as JJ gets older...and after J and I are FINALLY living under the same freaking roof...it will be easier to have more of a social life and energy. It's tough raising a toddler by yourself, but we make it work. I love being a working mom and, at the moment, wouldn't change a thing about it.


Getting to know me: sports edition

Let's talk about...sports.

Growing up, I was always exposed to sports. My mom played volleyball growing up (and one of my uncles...who passed in 2007, may he forever rest in peace...was this amazing athlete), and my dad is a huge basketball nut. He loves to play ball. I, however, wasn't too big of a fan of sports. I mean, I played volleyball and liked basketball, but it wasn't an obsession growing up.

Fast forward to my college years, and the obsession set in.

I don't even know when it started. I guess it started in 2000, when I became a Dallas Mavericks fan, went to my first NBA game with a group I volunteered for, and fell in love. Or maybe it was later that year, when I started to discover ESPN. Or maybe it was 2004, when I decided I was going to OSU and we made the Final Four that year. Or maybe it was during my college years, when I became emerged in college football and basketball. I really don't know when my love for sports started to take over, but it took over pretty fast. I went from ESPN hater to ESPN lover nearly overnight. I have a good half-dozen apps on my phone devoted to sports (and will add more once fantasy basketball and college basketball start). I just can't.get.enough.

That's probably a big reason why J married me, but that's a different story for a different day.

I don't really like playing sports. I'm not in the best shape [and i'm lazy as hell...i'd rather sleep than walk any day], and I really hate running, so that knocks out a good 99 percent of sports right there. And golf...I just can't get into golf. I'd fall asleep on the course. So, I've taken to being an awesome spectator. I've been to more than my share of OSU home football games, the Cotton Bowl, a ton of Thunder games [including playoff games vs. the lakers], and I've taken in a few OSU men's/women's basketball, softball and baseball games, too. It's so fun to cheer, to yell, to boo with everyone else. To be a part of - if only for a little while - something that doesn't require me to think about life's problems or dwell on what to make for dinner [um, pretzels with cheese, anyone?]. Sports - for the most part - is one big happy family of fans from all over the place who, most times, feel the exact same way you do about your team.

It's fun. It's awesome. And I love it.

My recent dive in sports has taken me to NFL. I'm not a big fan of the NFL [and i really, really hate the cowboys], but I decided to play fantasy football this year and actually start watching games. It's kinda difficult to sit through an entire set of games when you've got a curious 21-month-old, but that's what highlights and NFL shows on ESPN are for, right? Right. I suck at fantasy football right now and am still getting the hang of it, but it's been fun so far. And I plan on playing for many, many year - who knows? Maybe next season, I'll take on my husband. :)

Consider this my intro into my sports life. I'll probably wind up blogging bits and pieces about basketball and football seasons, so this is your warning. Now, I'm off to go check my fantasy league and see if it can be salvaged. Oi.


A wake-up call of sorts.

Before I begin this post, this is not in reference to my own child. Little man is happy and healthy, sleeping soundly beside me. This post is about a wake-up call of sorts I got just a few minutes ago.

How do you overcome such a tragic loss as losing your own child? One of my dear friends that I've known for years lost her son on Saturday. He was barely a year old...a year old. I know he's with God now, but just - it breaks my heart.

I've had other dear friends who have lost their little ones over the past couple of years, and it breaks my heart every single time it happens. I can't imagine losing JJ. Every single day, I live in fear that I'll get a phone call that something's happened. Or he'll have an accident at home. Or that we'll get into a car accident on the way home. I know it's not logical to live in such fear, but I just can't help it. I'm already a worrier by nature, but after I became a mom, the worry factor tripled. I just can't imagine having that happen - I don't know if I'd make it. I barely slept the first six months he was around because of my fear that he'd stop breathing overnight...and I still don't sleep that well very often.

I hope and pray everyday that I'll get to raise my son into adulthood, that I'll get to be a grandmother and great-grandmother to his kids and grandkids. I know that God has a plan for all of us, and if that plans doesn't include raising my son to see his kids and grandkids, I'll have to find a way to accept that. I know, though, that I won't be the same if I ever lost him.

I just ask that you guys keep my friend in your thoughts and/or prayers. She really needs them right now. And to all the moms who lost their little ones too soon: I love and respect you women more than I'll ever be able to say.


Where were you on 9.11.01?

I was a few weeks into my sophomore year of high school. Back in the good 'ol days, the school system I grew up in was elementary/junior high/high school, so I was technically in my second year of high school but first year in the high school building. I remember how I felt those first few weeks of high school...bottom of the totem pole, but slowly growing up.

September 11, 2001 began like any other day. Pretty sure I woke up late that day (as always), but it was a beautiful day out. Fall was finally just around the corner, so I was in a fabulous mood. My first hour was German I, which was always a complete blast.

I remember walking through the hallway after class, and people were mumbling about something bad happening in NYC. Planes crashing into buildings or something like that. I'd heard someone say the Twin Towers had been hit and just didn't believe it. I mean, come on. This is the United States of America. That wouldn't happen here. I headed to 2nd hour Pre-AP English, not really giving the rumblings a second thought.

I stepped into class...and knew something really WAS wrong. The lights were dimmed, the TV was on, and my teacher was crying. I looked at the TV just as ABC showed the planes hitting the towers at two separate times. Then, they cut to the crash in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, with its gaping hole. I quit breathing for a few seconds and remembered thinking, "Holy crap. We're under attack."

I did a quick mental checklist. I had family out there, but none of them worked at those places or had been flying that day. Then, I frantically started thinking about my dad. He was still in the Army at that time. What the hell would happen to him? Would he be sent over to fight off whoever thought it was cool to attack this country? Would I get to see him before he left? I just sat there in silence, watching coverage until my teacher turned the TV off and tried to teach. The rest of my day was shot though; I might as well have gone home. I was completely useless the rest of the day.

My classmates and I spent the day talking about what had happened. Watching coverage in rooms that would allow us to do so. My principal made a brief announcement about it, but I don't even remember what he said. Funny...no one really knew until that day that he was in the National Guard. After the war started, he was called away and was barely seen the last two years of my high school career. I think he's still serving this country through the National Guard...what a great man.

In 2001, we didn't have web-capable cell phones. Hell, we barely text messaged at that time. So everything we got was from the TV. I called my mom at lunch to make sure my dad was OK; post was on lockdown, and I couldn't get a hold of him via cell phone. She told me he was OK, but she didn't know when he'd get home. Where we live is the home of field artillery, so there were rumblings we might be targeted next. I pretty much lived in fear of getting attacked for months after that. When I got home from volleyball, I watched TV all night. Tried to figure out how this could happen, who would hate America so much that they thought it was OK to take over these planes, crash them into national landmarks and kill thousands of innocent people.

I remember feeling empty. Lost. Confused. I was 15 at the time, but I was old enough to know that what had happened wasn't an accident. That people from other places really did wish ill upon the greatest country in the world. I shed a lot of tears that night as I watched the images...kind of reminded me of the OKC bombing. When my dad got home after 8pm that night, I gave him a huge hug and breathed a sigh of relief. He told me that everything was OK, that he was staying put and that we would all be fine. He was right.

I don't think I realized then just how much life would change after that one catastrophic event. The past nine years have been full of ups and downs. New president, recession, two wars, lives lost [including my cousin's husband, who was one of the first 10 to die in the war when it started]...I never imagined that growing up in America would be like that. The first 15 years of my life had been pretty calm, without any worries...now, things were different. Much different.

It's true when they say you never forget where you were when something life-changing happened. I will definitely never forget where I was on September 11, 2001 - the day this country changed forever. We'll never forget.


Oh my goodness. Neglect much?

Did ya miss me? :)

I can't believe it's been so long since I last blogged. I'm on the Internet every.single.day. I just don't get why it's so hard for me to keep up with this thing! Maybe because I just feel like nobody reads it...and my life is pretty boring, so who would want to read it anyway? Oh well. I'll try to do a better job of updating. This should be a place for me to be myself and say what I want, so I'll treat it as such, I guess.

Yesterday was my six-year dating anniversary with J. I can't believe it's been six freaking years. At this point in my life, I totally didn't think I'd be with someone for this long, much less be married to that same person. J was my first everything [except for my first kiss, but he's by far the best kisser out of any guy i've ever kissed, ever] - I feel like I did a lot of growing up with him, and I feel like he's grown up a lot while he's been with me. I know dating anniversaries don't mean nearly as much once you get married, but I don't care. Sharing my life with someone for six years is a semi-big deal. I wish he was here to spend it with me, but oh well.

Speaking of being apart...the end is in sight. J graduates from tech school five weeks from this past Tuesday - he'll be home five weeks from tomorrow! I feel like the past four months have flow by, but they've gone slow at the same time. It's sucked not being able to see him (and having two trips to San Antonio fall through), but I am SO excited to be in his arms again. He'll only be in Oklahoma for three weeks before he reports to Colorado, but that's plenty enough time for me. And, he'll be back and forth often until I move out there - which is great, because I don't think I could go 5.5 months with seeing him for only four days [unless deployment happens, of course].

This whole being an Air Force wife thing really hasn't set in yet, honestly. People keep asking me what it feels like...but with J still in school and me staying put until next summer, it's just another lifestyle change to me that'll take awhile to get into. I mean, he's still technically a trainee, so it's not like we've gone to balls or had FRG meetings or anything like that. I'm anxious and excited to take this next step with him though. I think I've been looking for a life change for awhile now...this will be the change I need to jumpstart my life again and start a new chapter. I'm ready.

I think J and I have decided to start TTC for our next baby as soon as he gets back from tech school. I know he'll be moving and all, but we're Air Force now. There really isn't a good time to plan to get pregnant since things can come up at any time. I got the all-clear from my OB, am looking for prenatals to start taking and am getting my butt into shape. I think I'm more nervous about NOT being able to get pregnant than anything else. I know we obviously have gotten pregnant before, but it just makes me nervous that something could be wrong that I don't know about, and it'll be hard to get pregnant again. Sigh. I think too much.

Well, it's after 1am here, the rain's falling, and I'm getting sleepy. And, I need to be up again by 6am. I swear, I'm not going to have a "normal" sleep cycle until my kiddos are in grade school. Sigh. Good thing I'm used to random nights like this.

More updates later. I promise. With sports season in full gear...I've got lots to say.