Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas was wonderful with my family - but Christmas without Gunnar was really freaking hard. I don't want to do this anymore.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OH - NC - OH - NC - OH - NC - OH ...

I'm packing up the kids and half the house and heading back to Ohio to spend the holidays with our families. Only problem being, Ohio is 8.5 hours away and the kids passionately hate the car ride. I can't blame them, they are some active kids (as any 1 year old and 3 year old should be) and don't enjoy being strapped into a seat for hours on end. Most kids would nap for a large portion of the drive, I assume, but mine have not too much interest when we're driving. Specifically the 1 year old, she will usually sleep for 3 solid hours when we're home and she's in a bed. On the road, she's good for about 15 minutes of sleep then goes back to screaming like she's being murdered mode.

I have to arrange the car just right so I can reach the toys, sippy cups, books, DVDs, snacks, tissues, and directions. Yep that's right, no thanks to the ridiculously lame North Carolina freeway system, I still need directions until I get to Virginia. We only make one stop on the way, which sounds kind of hardcore I'm sure but stopping more than absolutely necessary would only prolong the torture.

Every one of these drives makes me wonder why the heck I just don't stay in Columbus. I am only keeping this house in NC so Gunnar has a home to come back to when he returns. And since I have no idea when that will be, I think it's important to keep this place. Not that I want to. Being here and alone makes me miss him more. I haven't spent much time thinking about what Christmas is going to be like without him. It will be our first Christmas apart since 1999 I think.

I am always amazed how much work it actually is for me and the kids to be away for a few weeks. The lists I make of things to take seem to get longer and longer every time!

I'll try to keep this updated while I'm back home, if I can tear myself away from actual adult conversations.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fort Bragg Friendliness

Tonight was the 2-508 (that's Gunnar's Battalion..I think, I'm pretty sure actually) Holiday party! I was actually looking forward to tonight for a lot of reasons. First, it was a reasonable enough reason to wear something other than running shoes. I actually coordinated an outfit, did my hair and wore makeup. I looked pretty alright too compared to every day this week that I couldn't be bothered with any of that because I didn't leave my house barely. Second, Santa was going to be there and it was at some sort of arcade/pool table/pizza & wing joint on base that I'd never been to and figured my son would think it was cool. Third, I took it as an opportunity to actually meet some people around here! How great would that be?! To actually have some people around here talk to and hang out with would be pretty ok. Generally I don't make new friends super easily although I really don't have a problem talking to people I don't know. I just don't actually like that many people when I meet them. Sounds bitchy, doesn't it? Anyway that's really besides the point because I didn't meet a single person. I went with my pal Ashley and her two daughters and when we arrived the party room was standing room only so we were banished to the general arcade area and only able to pop in the reserved room occasionally to grab some food etc.

The people I did try to talk to couldn't be bothered to have any sort of conversation with me. Most people there seemed to know a lot of people already. I totally expected that, and certainly didn't expect anyone to be there waiting for me with a big welcome sign. I just thought the general attitude and vibe of the event would be just a tad more welcoming, more inviting, more friendly. It was a let down for sure.

And it really doubled the always present feeling of being completely isolated down here.

Hair and make up done...Ta Da!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What is HE doing here?

This is going to sound horribly selfish but since this is my little blog and I can say pretty much whatever I want to, I'm going to share this little feeling I've been having. Every time I see soldiers around base I really want to know what he is doing here. Seriously. Why is he here and not in Afghanistan? If my husband has to go over there for a whole damn year, why is that guy still here? And that guy? And that guy? Then I give myself a figurative smack in the face and think well maybe he just got back. Maybe he is leaving next month. Maybe he was there and injured and recovering or worse, completely traumatized or something. I realize they can't send every single soldier there all at the same time and there are jobs that don't actually require deployments. I think I just get super duper jealous when I see soldiers and their wives and kids, families together, because I wish it were me and my family.

My husband is the sexy one on the left...

To see more of these photos of Gunnar's platoon, check this out

Monday, December 7, 2009

Still Trying

After a few weeks back up in Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday, me and the kids are back here in Fort Bragg aka Home Sweet Home. And just trying to make it work, as usual. I have left the house twice since we got in Friday night. We went to the commissary once (my own version of hell basically) and to the beloved Bed, Bath and Beyond today. Not too exciting. So basically I don't have too much to report.

I missed an opportunity yesterday morning to chat with Gunnar on Facebook. I have mobile alerts set up so if he is on and sends me a message, it will go to my phone, I can hop online and we can have a chat. This opportunity is quite rare and relying on electronic communication is always a little sketchy. Anyway, there was some sort of a delay in the electronic universe and by the time I knew he was online, his time on the computer was like 14 seconds away from being up. So I cried for a long time. It seemed like a long time anyway. I can't really handle the idea of missing a chance to hear from him in any sense of the word. I obsessively check my phone constantly to make sure it's on, the volume is up, it's fully charged etc. If I wasn't neurotic enough before this deployment, I certainly will be by the end of next summer.

Gunnar was able to call a few hours later. I might have mentioned before that we definitely always keep our conversations light and funny as all hell. It's great stress relief for both of us. I for one, am the world's biggest, most frequent cryer, so it's an accomplishment for me to not have a breakdown the second I hear his voice. All the strength in the world couldn't stop the water works yesterday though and poor Gunnar had to listen to me sobbing, making likely zero sense till I calmed down enough to have an actual conversation. Talk about a waste of some very expensive international calling card minutes!! It was, as always wonderful to hear him though. He is still doing really well. His platoon is very active and that worries the shit out of me constantly but they are all very capable soldiers. They seem to get called in any time any one needs some extra umph. I cannot for one second imagine what it's like to have people actually shooting at me. That's the kind of thing they are going through every day too. It's too hard to understand what any of it is really all about either. I gave up trying.

All we can really do is hope every last one of those soldiers comes back healthy.