Thursday, November 8, 2012


He didn't land till 11:20 Monday night, so I spent the day having lunch with a friend, cleaning, and generally trying to contain my excitement. 8:00 pm rolled around and I hopped in the shower, got ready, and got in the truck. I blasted music all the way to the airport, and settled into the cell phone waiting lot until he texted me. Finally, he said he was curbside, I threw the car in gear, charged down the street, all the while chanting to myself to remember to breathe. 

I saw him standing there, in uniform, bags set beside him. I rammed the car in park, jumped out, and couldn't help but run to him, getting caught in a long hug as we just both stood there teary eyed and clinging to each other. Finally we drew back enough to kiss, hug again, and finally get into the car. He decided he wanted to drive home, and so we laughingly switched seats and off we went. 

Relief doesn't even begin to describe it. That was the prevailing feeling, just pure relief that he was here, that this was finally over, that we could start our lives again, and that our love had survived this, and was still tangibly, palpably present. 

We have always clicked, and the past few days we have effortlessly clicked back into place, routines are beginning again, our hands find each other's as we walk, we talk and tease and hang out just as we used to. It almost feels as if he's been gone a week instead of nearly seven months. 

I am so thankful this is all over, and cannot wait to keep my living life with him in it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Eric will be home SOON and this last little bit of waiting is the most exciting, most anxiety producing thing ever. I've been trying to keep myself extra distracted and relaxed to just be able to calmly wait out this last little bit. 

I cried and laughed simultaneously in relief and joy when I found out about it, and I still feel that overwhelming mess of emotions, but just trying to keep it together a little longer. I think I probably have normal fears; will it be the same? Will homecoming go well? Can we transition back into our routines with each other smoothly? Will it be awkward at all? Stuff like that. 

Hopefully no more delays, and meanwhile I'm just getting final things ready and looking forward to when I can go park at the airport, walk inside, and wait for him to step off a plane and back into my life. 

After over six and a half months, I can't freaking wait

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm moving in TWO DAYS

Holy crap.
I have so much to do still, I haven’t even started to pack or anything, mostly because it feels overwhelming. Gah, I feel like I’m going to forget like 20 important things thanks to procrastinating -.- When I moved for school, I knew exactly when I’d be back, so it wasn’t ever daunting: it was a temporary move. But now it’s a permanent move so we can  start our lives for real when he gets home. I’m genuinely excited about it, I really am, and I have missed Washington, but the gravity of making a major life decision is still present. I’m looking forward to the little things I suppose, like going to my favorite local market, a coffee shop I adore, being in the city, rainy days, fall colors, a Halloween party, and sleeping in our bed most of all. I’m excited to see friends and of course to start preparing for his homecoming, which is always on my mind. 
And this deployment. Dear god just let this thing end, I am just done. He should be home in just a couple weeks so it won’t be long now, but I just want to get that text that says he’s on the plane home instead of playing guessing games waiting for the Air Force to give him a set date. In many ways this last bit of deployment is getting easier, theres a sense of optimism and excitement about him coming back soon, which has made everything feel lighter and easier to handle. At the same time, I am just tired of this and want him back. I’m tired of sleeping alone, and waiting, and really am just getting emotionally burnt out on this whole deployment thing. I’ve been trying to just think levelly about it, to tell myself its over when its over and theres nothing I can do to hurry it up. I still can’t think about homecoming for very long without wanting to cry from the anticipation, but now that undercurrent of excitement is making it a little easier to let those thoughts in. 
I’ve begun to seriously think about what I want to wear/how to do my hair/all that stuff. I started to think about why people obsess about looking perfect, when it legitimately hit me that this is a pretty big life event, something we’ll actually remember until we die, and every extra bit of magic contributes to that memory. No wonder I and so many other girls want to go the extra mile, planning outfits weeks in advance, booking various beauty appointments, losing those last couple pounds. I know it’s going to be an amazing moment even if my hair looks like crap and my makeup is wonky and my nails are bitten to stubs, but how much more will I love that memory if I feel great about myself? That memory, and that feeling of confidence that will forever be tied to it, is what makes it worth it.
Well, that and watching him melt when he sees me =D

Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting Crafty: Date Night Invitations

So I saw this awesome idea on Pinterest where this lady gifted her husband 12 manila envelopes, one for each month, each with a pre-planned date night inside including gift certificates, information about the date, etc. 

I really liked the idea for homecoming, but wanted to be able to do more dates than just one a month and didn't feel like I needed quite as many materials that detailed what we'd be doing because Eric will just look everything up on his phone :) I loved the idea of having all the planning done for a day out, or a night out, with the research completed, some money already set toward it, so that it will be easy for us to just pick up and go on a whim. I also wanted it to feel like something special, something to anticipate.

That got me started thinking about what kinds of things Eric likes to do, things he's mentioned he wants to do when he gets back, and about stuff I want to do in my new permanent home, and came up with a dozen different date ideas, some requiring a full day and some travel, some just a morning, some just an evening, so we'd have some variety in how much effort we wanted to expend that particular week. 

The next step was how to present my date ideas, and since I wanted it to be something special we could look forward to, I decided to essentially use my leftover craft supplies to create themed "date invitations" like so:

Using up those extra craft supplies from care packages!

There's something so exciting about getting a formal invitation! On the back, I printed an itinerary for the day (Portland is pretty much his favorite place ever, and about a 2 hour drive for us) and am enclosing a gift card to one of the main things I want us to do there, as well as a card I made that says that coffee is on me that day :) 

I'm still not sure how I'm going to package these invitations with their matching gift cards/cash as Manila envelopes are too big, and I do want to keep track of which ones are time sensitive, which ones require more/less effort, etc. I've made 5 unique invitations so far, so I'll post how I wrap them up when I figure out how I'm going to do it! I'll also be posting each invitation and pictures from the date as we use them, of course. 

I'm off to make a few more!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 2nd

The day we met. The day we became inseparable.

Happy 2 years babe, and on to year 3 :) Can't wait to celebrate when you're home in a few weeks!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Deployment is Kicking My Ass Today

I don't know why. You'd think with only about a month to go, it would be easier, and I guess for the most part it is, but some days just suck and there's no way around it. I spent most of the day doing research for our new place and picking up a few presents for him/things for the new apartment I've been meaning to get. My credit card hurts, but even retail therapy didn't lift my little deployment cloud.

Luckily September has been moving along pretty quickly, I can only hope October does the same and that if they delay his homecoming, it won't be for very long. He had a tentative date around Halloween, but now with everything going on in that part of the world, we're back to being really unsure of anything. I hate not knowing, it's easily one of the most frustrating aspects of the military lifestyle. I feel better having a solid date, it makes me feel like I can plan, and we all know planning is my favorite coping mechanism. For now, I am just forcing myself to keep on with my life, keep busy, and tell myself that it will be over soon, one way or another. 

On the bright side, I have a super busy week next week with painting my mom's new apartment for her and teaching swim lessons on the weekends, gotta keep adding to that bank account! Also, October is almost here, and the second of the month is our second anniversary :) 

Oh, and I'm getting the iphone 5 because I did this to my 4.

Yep. Eric calls me killer kella for my propensity to break electronics. Ironic, because he is the tech whisperer. Long story short, I dropped it a few months ago and the cracks just keep getting worse. Last night it fell off the counter and huge chunks of glass just came off...thank god my contract is up.

Tomorrow marks 23 weeks of deployment behind us. Only a few more to go, love.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Why hello there, fall! 

I have been waiting for summer to end for so long, and the coming of this new season means we are closing in on a return date for my love. I am in a weird spot, where homecoming is still a bit too far to be truly excited about, but I'm exiting the middle stage of this thing. Part of me wants to cling to the familiar comfort of my middle-stage mindset, where I have all the time in the world to prepare for homecoming, can put things off like registering to vote in a new state or setting up another bank account, can reassure myself that I have more time to save money, to be with my family, to go do things in the Bay Area I've been meaning to do while I still live here. 

The middle stage seemed to be the easiest emotionally for me. In the beginning, it was stressful and horrible, the breaking of my normal routine, going through finals, transitioning out of college without him, but the middle provided a new routine, some stability, and because you know he isn't coming back soon, you're also not anxious about it. The worst of the separation anxiety has diffused, and is replaced with a resigned missing. I miss him constantly, he is always on my mind, but I am also accepting of the fact that I can't make him come home faster, and all I can do is wait and live my life.

With the last stage of deployment looming, this final chunk of time, I feel the edges of anxiety creeping back; I find myself anxious to have everything perfectly set up for his return, anxious about re-adjusting, re-connecting, about seeing him again and wanting that too badly. I tend to avoid thinking about this because it's becoming apparent that this last stage is going to be more difficult for me, as well as more exciting. But the excitement its self is for now I will try and tell myself I still have to wait, tell myself I still have time to slowly pull things together for his arrival, so I don't panic or let the painful excitement take over. 

September also means school resumes, so my brother and I hit San Francisco for some back to school shopping the other day. We got him clothes, and I got to spend time in my city. Win-win.

Union Square

Typical foggy day

Washington Trip

My cousin and I decided to go visit our aunt, uncle, and three cousins who live outside Portland, OR, but technically in Washington...

Classic WA sunset


Maureen and I =D

Watching baby cousin play varsity volleyball at her high school

Cannon Beach...thats Haystack rock

We had a really fun and relaxing week with one of our favorite families, lots of laughs and adventures :) The other thing I got to do was scope out apartments in the city Eric and I are moving back to when he returns from this deployment. It was really, really weird to be back in "our hometown" without him, and strangely unsettling. I did, however, find a pretty good apartment, and hopefully we can move in just weeks after he gets home, which is super exciting. I've already mentally placed furniture, hah. I was bummed I wasn't able to visit any friends while I was up there, but I was only in the city for about three hours. But I'll be back in just a few weeks!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Milso in a Non-Military Community

Obviously, I am at home while Eric is deployed, and while I met him within a military community, my hometown doesn't have a base for nearly 100 miles. It's a stark difference. First off, none of my friends have any idea what this feels like, what it means, or how to relate, and almost none of them know anyone in the military. Because of this, people generally just don't talk to me about it, which is a little weird at times, I admit. When we do get on the subject, I am constantly explaining how the military world works, as it functions so very differently than theirs. That can quickly become irritating, because suddenly I'm forced to explain details about logistics and lingo rather than being able to vent about how I'm feeling. It's rather limiting after a while. I do remember how it felt to be on the outside of the military world and to have to constantly ask questions though, so I am patient.

After spending my undergrad thesis interviewing military spouses about their deployment experiences and what kinds of support they received, I find myself in an altogether different situation than the majority of them. Cut off from an informal network that understands, and not eligible for formal military support because we are not yet married, I'm mostly left on my own to figure out how to cope. All I can say is, thank god for the internet.

Being able to talk to the couple military spouses I am close to has helped immeasurably. I didn't think it would matter much, because I figured my normal friends would be enough of an outlet, but I was wrong. It suddenly is such a relief to use acronyms and not have to explain every little step, to have someone implicitly understand your emotions, how this all works. It's comforting, more than anything, knowing that somebody understands the things you can't specifically say.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Promotion Box!

Eric got promoted while he's over there, so I sent him a quick box of congratulatory goodies, including the cards the two grade-school aged girls I nanny made for him. Oh yes. The Justin Bieber card. It's amazing what kids do with a pack of blank cards and some crayons. I also stuck notes in all the envelopes saying if you text me <insert a word> check your e-mail! And the mystery words, when he finally texted me, prompted me to send links to articles, new songs, and some new pictures. It was my attempt at making a more interactive box, I suppose. But yes! 

Working on a new box currently, so that should be up in a week or two!

Happy Halfway!

Right around the halfway point now, and definitely in my own routine and feeling pretty okay about everything lately. I get to text him most of the day so that helps quite a bit. He also sent me a surprise box a few days ago stuffed with gifts, which totally made my month and gave me that boost to keep plowing forward :) I miss him terribly, of course, but I'm functioning pretty well on my own, too. I think you pretty much have to just get it together for yourself and keep living your life when you get stuck in a situation like this.

AND! Only one more month of summer, which was mentally the longest stretch for me, because come fall I have to start prepping to move back to Washington! And there is plenty to do for that to keep me busy those last weeks before he gets back. I'm very, very excited for the future!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I suppose the point of having a relationship is to have a partner, someone who's on your team. What happens when your team member can't be there and life is throwing things at you left and right? E is thousands of miles away and has limited communication with me. Meanwhile, since he's been gone, I wrote a thesis, graduated college, moved back home, sold and moved out of our family home with my dad and brother, and am now living with my dad's girlfriend until our new house becomes available August 1st. I am also planning on getting a new car to replace my current unreliable one, and getting things in order to move back to Washington in October, all while crafting a resume and beginning the job hunt. 

The period of time right after graduating college is notoriously unstable, and I'm navigating this without the familiar comfort and support of my partner, which is kind of bizarre. I'm making major life choices and going through huge life changes basically without him. On one hand it makes me a bit sad, knowing I'm going it alone and he's missing this period of time, on the other it's an affirmation of my independence and abilities as a person to not need anyone else in order to successfully run my life. Most of all I guess it makes me worried. I have changed since he left. He said goodbye to a college student and is coming back to a young professional entering the workforce, with 6 months of intense change behind her. I'm hoping this will ultimately have a positive effect on our relationship, but it will definitely take some getting used to.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nights are the Hardest

I miss you sleeping cuddled up next to me. I miss cooking together, sleeping in, and going on adventures. I miss the way you smell, miss talking to you, miss kisses. I think about being nearly halfway done with this deployment and want to cry from the crazy anticipation of it being over. There’s this little light at the end of the tunnel now, but thinking about when it will be a week until you’re home, days before you’re home makes me panic I want it so badly. It’s this odd fear of anticipation, like I can’t let myself get excited, because wanting something this much is too painful. Instead I re-direct my thoughts to the things I still have to look forward to in these next three months, my plans, our plans. It’s more calming to think about that. Much will be accomplished before I finally get to meet you in the airport. Even typing that out makes my heart leap so painfully. I can’t wait, and I can’t stand waiting.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Little Things

There's a few things that have been making my life a little easier during this deployment the past week:

I don't consider myself  overly sentimental, but I got this keychain right after he left and it's become inordinately important to me. First, let me say that I drive a LOT, to work, to meet friends, to run errands, and every time I pull out my keys, I see this dangling and it reminds me of him. It's a physical thing I can touch and look at to remind me about why I'm doing this. Having something to touch, feel, see when he's gone for provides that daily physical reminder of us. It's become this weird comfort object, like a safety blanket. Any one else have one of these?

Two little girls I nanny, ages 7 and 11, who love exploring with me. 

One of these girls (the 7 year old) drew a picture for me to send to Eric. And yes, those are ears. Love her. 

Seeing plays at a local college with my best friend :) We have plans to see Les Mis in San Francisco this month or next and I am beyond excited.

Sent another care package today, too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One of the Worst Things

Deployment is obviously difficult for a whole slew of reasons, but what's been bumming me out the most lately is not being able to have a proper conversation with him. Sure he can text me sometimes, but that's a sad replacement for an actual discussion. It seems like the things I need to talk to him about, or have him make decisions on (especially in regards to moving, apartments, etc) keep piling up, and there never seems to be any real time to talk about any of it, and it's getting really hard.

With most things I can talk to friends or family, but the majority of this stuff are things only he can deal with. So it's getting extremely frustrating for me. On the bright side, June is winding down, bringing us within a couple weeks of the halfway mark, but it all just feels so long.  I just keep thinking:

Can this be over yet?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Care Package #4: Alien

My boyfriend LOVES the movie Alien, and since the sequel, Prometheus just came out and he actually got to see it at the base he is at, I figured this was an appropriate theme for a care package!

I printed off movie stills and used star and planet stickers

I also made little alien attack "survival kits" which were brown take-out boxes from Michael's filled with useful things and little presents all fitting a theme.

For the "Clean" kit

Printed labels


For the "Hydrate" kit

Almost finished!
"Relax" had tea, a back massager, and a cigar, "Energize" had homemade granola bars, "Love" had a shirt I'd been sleeping in, the contents of "Clean" are shown above, and "Hydrate", of course, had the Mio!

A package of notecards, as usual

I forgot to take a picture of the box finalized, but the rest of the space in it was taken up by items he had requested, a Method hand soap refill, toothbrushes, and Annie's cheddar bunnies, among other things. I also included an article I printed off with little-known facts about the movie Alien. It actually ended up getting to him the same day he saw Prometheus, so it worked out perfectly :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Quick Update

We are coming up on two months of him being gone now. I've been home two weeks and have been settling into my home routine, but with the added stress of packing our house to move. It's not going to be a neat process and I'll actually end up moving two times in as many months. I also should be starting my full time job on Wednesday, which I am very much looking forward to. I've found that keeping busy truly is the secret to making time go faster, and it's been lagging this past week.

On the bright side, I've been able to FaceTime with Eric more frequently which has been really, really nice, even if it's brief. I'm keeping things low key, but am very much looking forward to a summer of beaches and cities and friends :)

Also, the latest care package is going out tomorrow! So I'll be able to share it in about a week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Care Package #3: Pirate Treasure Chest

I used glitter sticker numbers to order the envelopes of this Kate Spade stationary set.

Each envelope has little notes inside

Jumbo pill box filled with Reese's Pieces and notes, one for each day of the week 
Snacks, pill box, shower stuff!

Ziploc bags are amazing

All packed up!

I wanted to do a fun, silly theme, and decided to go with a Pirate Treasure Chest :) I am told the candies survived the heat and everything made it safely. This one was fairly quick, just scrapbook paper, stickers, some drawing and sticker letters, and little envelopes I found at Target. I was in the process of finals and moving when I put this together, but my next one is going to be quite elaborate and will celebrate one of E's great loves (aside from moi, of course). Can't wait!