Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Christmas Card

I haven't been a very good blogger lately. James is still in "redeployment mode," which means he goes to work early for PT and then is home somewhere between 12 and 2pm. It's amazing. I could seriously get used to this. He's got a few more days before leave starts for Christmas and we have a whole bunch of family coming. So we've been trying really hard to get the house ready. I did get Christmas cards done though.
I just love shutterfly. Although, I did have to edit it a little so I could post it on the blog. I really wanted to have a family picture with Roxy too (I seriously love MrsMollyP's family Christmas photo), but our puppy was a little too crazy.

I'm not gonna be too awesome about updating for a while. So here's our Christmas card to you. In case I don't check back before Christmas, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

<3 Amy

Monday, December 10, 2012

Deployments and Cars and Murphy's Law

I'm sure you are familiar with Murphy's Law. Anything that can do wrong, will go wrong. This is especially true for deployments and you'll hear it confirmed by any military significant other that you talk to.

I thought I would share with you the story of my car and the deployment. This is my Honda CR-V. 

After James left for Afghanistan last December, my mom flew out to Seattle to drive back home to Illinois with me. On the way to pick her up from the airport (James had been gone only a few days), a truck kicked up a rock and hit my windshield. I ended up having to get my windshield replaced. 

On our drive home to Illinois, my engine light mysteriously turned on. We stopped to check the oil. It was empty. No oil. My engine was actually burning oil so badly that we had to add a quart of oil every time we stopped for gas. And it's not like it's a super-old car, since it's a 2005. 

I got it back and they had to replace a gasket. The problem came back again later and they put an entirely new engine in. Then it started shuddering and the axels had to be replaced. And then the wheels. And then the rotors. And the brakes. All in the year James was gone. Oh.. also the leather seat got torn open at the seam. It's currently being held together by duct tape. 

Now thankfully, we bought a really good extended warranty when we got the car. So a lot of that was covered. Still. If you've ever experienced car problems, you can just imagine how much stress came along with each of those problems. I had to be the one to negotiate with the car guys. And they always make me nervous. I never know if they are trying to talk me into something I don't need. All while James was gone, so of course the stress was ten times more. 

So the moral of the story is that anything that can go wrong, especially if it's something that your husband normally takes care of for you, will indeed go wrong. 

We didn't keep James's car for the deployment, so the plan was always for him to get a car once he got home. He's kind of wanted to get a bigger car. Like a Nissan Xterra. We kind of already have mini-SUV, but I told him that he should get it anyway since he went on his deployment. When we trade in the CR-V in a few years, we can always just get a normal commuter car. So the other day, James takes me over to the Ford dealership to supposedly look at a used Xterra that he found online. While we were there, he said we should go look at the Ford Focus colors. 

So we do. And I love the red one. Then he tells me we should go for a test drive, and I start to get a little suspicious. Turns out, he had already done all the research and made the decision. I have to drive further to work so he decided I should get a commuter car and he will drive the CR-V. He also told me how proud he was that I got the job. So he bought the Ford Focus for me! He even made sure they put a ribbon on top. 
My early Christmas present!
James gave up getting a new car so that I could have the new one. I almost started bawling. I can't even be mad about all I went through with the CR-V this year now. My husband is amazing.

We still have the CR-V so I'm hoping it doesn't give James too much more trouble. It probably won't though. Since he's home. 

Merry Early Christmas!
<3 Amy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The unpacking is happening. Also, I accepted a job. Starting January 21st, I will be a Data Programmer/ Analyst for a company located in Tacoma. Slowly and slowly, I'm beginning to see the start of "normal life" falling into place.
Note the oddly positioned sleeping puppy.
When we put everything into storage a year ago, I put aside one box of keepsakes and treasures to take with me. I knew I wouldn't need these things while I was in Illinois, but I brought them anyway because there's always the chance the storage place could have burned down. And- I feel justified now in this fear because a storage place in the town next to ours did burn down, so it literally could have been ours.

This box has our wedding album, letters that James wrote me during various times he's been away, and different things that he has made for me over the years. He's actually a pretty crafty guy, and I love how it balances out with the infantry manliness. Besides the letters, this Bible might be my most treasured possession.
Let me give you the back story to this Bible. When we were still dating, James and I decided to go "on a break" to pray about our relationship and try to figure out if being together is what God wanted (not just what we wanted). Coincidently, it lined up with the start of Lent. We're not Catholic, so we don't normally observe Lent but it seemed like a good timeline so we decided to give each other up. Kind of silly, I know. But it was just for us.

We still hung out to a degree, but it was still hard. We still saw each other every day at track practice and we had all the same friends. But we weren't a couple. At the end of lent, we decided to go rock climbing and then get dinner afterwards (at McDonalds- we were poor college students). I was completely ready to get back together and I was convinced that we were.

Then James pulled out this Bible with a cover that he had made me. He had cut up all those little leaf pieces by hand. It was beautiful. And then he told me that he needed some more time alone with God. He had just discovered "The Message" translation and really liked it, so he got me a copy of it too. I just remembering saying in my head "God, I really hope I marry this man." You know how people describe that moment when they just knew? Before that night, I knew I liked him a lot. This was the moment that I knew I loved him. (Oh and yes.. we obviously did end up getting back together later!)

Sorry to be super-mushy but I wanted you to understand why this Bible means so much to me and why I nearly had a heart attack when I realized that there was a tearing noise coming from underneath the bed in our bedroom and that the puppy had my Bible.
Luckily, the cover isn't damaged. The Bible itself is hardly damaged at all, except for 17 pages ripped out of the end of Leviticus and the beginning of Numbers. I still cried. I had that box of treasures beside my bed and the puppy actually sneaked in there and took the Bible out of the box. When I saw the box open, I expected the worst. Maybe some of James's letters. I think maybe that thought upset me more than the actual damage. I was so upset that when James put his hand on my back to try to console me, he told me I was sweating and shaky. 

I have no idea why she thought the Bible would taste good. Now that I'm calmed down, I'm really thankful. Of all the places of the Bible, 17 pages in an area I honestly don't read that much (especially when I normally use a different Bible anyway) is okay. I can even replace the Bible if I need to, and put James's cover on a new one. And maybe just store this one (in a safer place) and remember it was the first one James gave me and the one that our puppy tried to eat. 

What are some things that would give you a near heart attack if your puppy or a fire got to it? Has anything like this ever happened to you? 

<3 Amy