Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meet Roxy

This is Roxy. She is a 5ish-month-old German Shepherd/ Border Collie mix. She hasn't grown into her ears and her paws yet. Which is pretty much adorable.

My husband is a huge "researcher." He loves doing shopping and researching online for everything we buy. So as soon as we found a house, he went into dog research. He's wanted a dog for a long time, but we've never been able to have one where we've lived.

A couple weeks ago, we went down to Portland area to see NAIA Cross Country Nationals. Our old cross country team (all the way from Illinois) had made it so of course, we had to go cheer them on.
Wearing our old ONU purple track jackets! 
Sitting at Starbucks, waiting for the race to start, James found a picture of Roxy online. So after the race, we went to this pet shelter to go meet her. We got to take her for a walk and found out that she loved running with us. Perfect. So we signed adoption paperwork and paid for her. It happened pretty dang fast, but James had been doing his research and we knew she was what we wanted.

Then we got a call the next day from the shelter. The guy that had been working was a fill-in and didn't do some things correctly. Apparently, we were supposed to fill out a full application for the dog. And when they adopted dogs out, they weren't supposed to be "first come, first serve." All applications were supposed to be considered before they decided who was the best owner for the dog. Yes, we already paid and signed the paperwork for her, but actually they (the dog shelter) never signed it (because the guy didn't know what he was doing) so the paperwork wasn't actually valid. Since we live two hours away, he said we could continue to "foster" her through Thanksgiving but we would have to bring her back on Saturday to figure everything out because at least one other woman was interested in adopting her.
Before we knew if her could keep her. Me trying not to fall totally in love with her yet.. (I still did)
I know. Ridiculous. In retrospect, I'm actually pretty sure we would have done well at small claims court if we wanted to push it that far. So all week and through Thanksgiving I was worried that we might have to give her back. We went ahead and filled out the application. I've owned two border collie mixes before, so we were able to put that down on pet history. And we have a backyard and we were able to circle that we are planning on exercising her "3+ miles per day." Because between the two of us, Roxy is going to go on a run each day once she is fully grown and her body can take it. So really, our application for her was stellar. I was still worried.

Then we got a call on Saturday.

Shelter guy: We received your application. We have the paperwork all ready for you to sign here, so we just gotta have you come back down so we can finalize everything.
James: So.. you picked us?
Shelter guy: Oh, yep. She's yours as soon as you come fill this out.

James got off the phone and told me. When did they decide she was ours?? Did they not realize how worried we were?? Actually, it was mostly me that was worried. James doesn't worry like I do, but that's another blog post in itself.

In conclusion, we now have a new member of our family. What about our cat, you ask? Well, she's actually still living with my in-laws until Christmas (I thought one day on the plane would be better than 4 days driving). So the day she comes home will be an interesting day.
James's new best friend.
I've never had a German Shepherd dog before, but I have heard they they can become "one man dogs." She definitely likes James more than me. I'm kind of jealous. But I do love running with her. She's not even that big yet, and I feel totally safe when she is with me. We are still teaching her to not totally pull the lease, but after about a half-mile or so, she falls in line beside us.

Basically, we love her. And we're really glad we got to keep her. :)

<3 Amy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ranger School Blogroll

Even though my husband graduated over a year ago, I still get more hits from Ranger School searches than from anything else. I also saw that a couple sweet ladies are linking to my Communication During Ranger School post. Thanks so much! I'm just really happy to be of help. 

I think we tend to turn to google for answers about Ranger school because it's just really hard to have that limited communication with you soldier. I had a lot more communication in any two months of my husband's deployment than I had when he was in Ranger School. 

Running Army Wife
I thought it would be helpful for all you ladies scouring the Internet for information to have a list of all us that have blogged about our soldier's time in Ranger School. Here's the start of a blogroll. I know I'm forgetting some. I have a hunch there may be more to come too. If you want to be added or know a blog that should be on here, please leave a comment! Also, feel free to grab a badge if you want!






<3 Amy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Redeployment Life

It's taken me a while to getting around to writing this post. James is home. It's weird typing it still. I feel kind of like I got married all over again. Bittersweet goodbyes to family, moving in together, cooking dinner and doing other housewifey things, getting to sleep in a bed with my favorite person.. It all feels new again. 

Right now, James is only only going into work a few hours a day to get some redeployment** stuff done, like getting up to date on medical stuff (he hasn't been to the dentist in over a year, etc) and making sure the guys in his platoon are on track too.

It's been mostly blissful. I won't deny that there have been a couple difficulties in the transition. When I imagined James coming home, I pictured me sleeping restfully in his arms, no longer worried about his safety. Well, James snores. Something that I seemed to forget about when I was just wishing he was home. So while it's true he's home safe now, I wouldn't call my sleep totally "restful." He is still going in to work pretty early, so I do actually get a really nice nap between about 6am and 8:30-ish when I wake up. 

Is it different than before the deployment? Maybe a little. It's hard to say so far. We are still kind of in the honeymoon phase and it still feels like vacation instead of real life. James is pretty much the same guy I married, maybe just a little older and wiser from the year away. He talks a little bit about what happened and what it was like over there, but not a lot. I think he's mostly happy to be home.

In stark contrast to pretty much the whole deployment, the last 12 days have flown by. I have run exactly 1 time in those 12 days. Oops. Once things settle down into more of a routine or this honeymoon phase wears off a little, I'll have to find a race to train for. 
We had to live a week or so without furniture. It was like camping. Kind of. 
I feel behind in blogging too. We are renting a house. It's a itty bitty house, but it has a garage and a backyard and it's the first time we've lived in a house together. We got a dog. Well.. kind of. It's a long story that I will have to tell for another post. Just pray for me that we get to keep her. Also, I got a job offer. Actually two different job offers. A official one and an unofficial one. So now I've got the official one on hold while I'm trying to figure out what is going on with the other one. It's a little crazy. 

I feel like I'm already starting to forget how hard the deployment was. Kind of like how if marathoners really remembered the physical pain they went through, they wouldn't ever do another one. I don't think we really remember pain that well.  I do remember it enough that I pray daily for the ladies I know that are still going through it, and for the safety of their soldiers. I haven't forgotten you ladies! Hang in there. 

<3 Amy 

**Redeployment= coming home from deployment, even though "re" deployment makes it sound like they are being deployed again. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Homecoming

Alright. I admit it. I was being a little bit sneaky with you. If you read my post before James came home, I purposely made it sound like I was going to be waiting for him longer than I was. Truth is, I knew we would only be here in Seattle a couple days before he got back.

I was supposed to get a call from the FRG (family readiness group) approximately 48 hours before he landed. When I didn't get a call on Tuesday, I was sad since I figured that meant the earliest he would get home would be Friday. Then I got to talk to him on Wednesday (on instant messenger) and he let me know they would be getting home the next day. I can't tell you how awesome that was to hear! 

Me: But wait. You're coming home tomorrow? I didn't get a "48 hour" call yesterday. 
James: Looks like they dropped the ball on that then. I'm going to be home tomorrow. 

My stomach kind of flipped. It was really happening! Then as I was still chatting with him, I got the phone call. "Your husband is coming home tomorrow!" Another flip of my stomach. They told me he was landing at 6:50pm. So that night I popped a melatonin pill and a half and tried to sleep. 

I woke up super early- kind of like when you are a kid and you wake up excited on Christmas day. I got up around 8, ate breakfast, and then decided to do my make-up and hair. Then I got done and it was only 10:30am. After pacing the house for a while and regretting that I had already done my hair so I couldn't go running, I got another call from the FRG. Now he was landing at 2:20pm. It was about 11:20. Just about 3 hours! I put on my dress and was really nervous and started getting sweaty for some reason. James's aunt gave me some little towels to stick under my armpits so that my dress wouldn't get wet. I was specifically told to NOT show up any earlier than 2 hours before they land. I thought that was kind of funny. I guess maybe some excited Army wives might show up like 5 hours early if they don't say that. 
getting ready
Then a little after 12:30, my mom and I left my aunt's house for the hour drive to the base. I had my mix CD that my friend Sarah made for me playing and Mat Kearney's "Ships in the Night" came on. The part that says "I'm gonna find my way back to your side" almost made me start crying again. My hands were sweaty on the steering wheel. 

Got to the location about half an hour before the plane was supposed to land. They were a couple people already there and they had Monster's Inc playing for the kids. So we waited. Through the rest of Monster's Inc, Tangled, and Toy Story. More and more people came in and there was about 10 kids that were having trouble staying occupied. We got notified that the plane landed around 3:20 (about an hour late) and then out-processing took about 2 hours. Then FINALLY, they let us know that they would come in, do a short formation, and then be released. 

When I saw him walk in, I almost couldn't breath. My heart started beating really fast. Even though it was only a group of about 25 guys, they still made them line up for a prayer by the chaplain. Then a colonel did a short speech. I think it was something about how they are heroes (because of course, they are). But I wasn't really listening. I was trying really hard to just hold my composure. 

Then I heard the words "you're released." And I got to hug my husband for the first time in 195 days. 
First hug in 195 days and the end of a 1 year deployment!
Then I hugged him for a long time. I just kept thinking "this really isn't a dream!" I didn't cry right there like I thought I would, but I did cry later that night when he was sleeping next to me and it really sunk in. Out of relief and happiness. I'm just so glad he's home safe. 

Now we're looking for a house to rent together and just enjoying each other's company. He bought a Nexus 7 as a redeployment gift for himself and is playing with it right now next to me. It's wonderful. :) 

<3 Amy

Thursday, November 8, 2012

He's Home!

The deployment is officially OVER! He just got home TODAY! I will post more after I get some quality time with my husband. :)

<3 Amy

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day

I'm so thankful for my right to vote! I actually voted 2 weeks ago, but I kept my "I voted" sticker and I'm wearing it proudly today! Brave men and women have sacrificed so much for YOUR right to vote. Don't waste it! 
<3 Amy 

PS: We made it to Seattle! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Driving Army Wife

My mom and I are driving. A lot. We are in day 2 of an approximately 4 day trip. 
Driving along to my friend Sarah's soundtrack that she made for me!
Leave Chicago was sad and exciting at the same time. Saying goodbye to my friends and my high school group at church was hard. Saying goodbye to my dad and my brothers was the hardest. But I had to say bye so that I can be in Washington for James when he gets back. Bittersweetness at it's finest. 

Now I'm on the road with my mom (she's my driving companion and then she'll fly back to Chicago so I get to put off saying goodbye to her). Typing this up on hotel wifi. I am so excited. Leaving my parent's driveway and driving out of the neighborhood almost made me start crying all over again. I didn't used to be this emotional! I didn't even cry at my wedding. This dang deployment has made me a basketcase. 
Stopping to try to get a shot of us in our "first snow" of the year. You can kind of see it in my hair. 
Can't tell you exactly how long I'm hanging out in Seattle-area until James gets there. I'm not even sure myself, to tell you the truth. The Army has changed it on us a couple times. So we just decided to get out there early to make sure I'm there when he gets there. We're gonna hang out with of some of James's aunts and uncles that he has out there, get some good Seattle coffee, look at some houses... and probably pace around a lot. Maybe go running. Because you know I'm not going to be able to sit still. 

<3 Amy