Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Golden Ticket

Let me just tell you that I'm blogging on Gunnar's tiny netbook and it's late so I can't be too responsible for how this typing works out tonight.  Gunnar finally got to town last Wednesday night around 6:30pm.  He had mentioned more than a dozen times he just wanted to have a Sierra Nevada when he got off the plane and finally got a chance to have a beer after a 6 month hiatus (haha - try 9 months of pregnancy and no drinks!!).  Anyway, I got super va-va-voom dressed up to pick him up from the airport.  I stopped and grabbed a six-pack on the way and stashed it in a cooler in the car.  I got to the airport a few minutes early, of course and waited for him at the gate.  Oh my goodness, seeing him walk around the corner was no doubt one of the best moments of my life.  Ever.  I now know what they meant by "a sight for sore eyes".  It was incredible when he scooped me up and kissed me!  There were people shouting thank yous and god bless yous at him as we walked through Port Columbus.  Seeing a soldier in uniform is definitely more of a novelty around here than in North Carolina.  It was like I was on the arm of a celebrity or something!

I've got to admit there was lots of hugging and kissing in the elevators getting to the car.  When we got to the car I realized that Gunnar didn't even know which one it was.  I'd bought a new car a few months ago and though I had told him all about it, he was still getting to ride in it for the first time.  We drove downtown with tons of chatter.  He just kept saying how loud and bright everything in the US is.  It was cute.  We parked the car and a woman stopped us and very sincerely thanked Gunnar for his service.  She was really sweet.  We checked in at the hotel and front desk staff also wanted to thank him - this time by upgrading our room to a deluxe suite!  And then she threw in a card for free breakfast the next day.  This was getting more and more fun every time we had to talk to someone.  Eventually we made it back out and got to our dinner reservations just on time.  We got a special secluded table away from the rest of the dining area and had a wonderful dinner.  Gunnar ate with fervor but was completely full well before our entrees arrived.  He was fixated on having fresh vegetables and ice in his water.  Two things that have been sorely lacking from his Afghanistan meals.  At the end of the meal the server brought us a bag of desserts to-go "as a token of their appreciation".  Holy crap, a girl could get used to living like this!

Back at the hotel, we stopped at the hotel bar for a nightcap.  I honestly don't remember for a second what we were talking about at the bar, but at the end of the night, the bartender told us there was no bill.  The man that had been sitting beside me at the bar paid for our drinks for the night.  We must have been talking about Army stuff but I really have no idea.  The next morning (after walking to the drugstore for hangover remedies for yours truly) we ate ridiculously expensive eggs at the hotel restaurant, for free, of course.

It was such a really awesome way to celebrate Gunnar's homecoming!  We had a blast and I was loving every minute of it.  I'm really glad he decided to fly directly to Columbus instead of to Fort Bragg.  No one there would give a crap if a soldier was returning from Afghanistan, it happens there all the time.  It was really special in Columbus though.  We had a really great time.  When we came home the next day (to my parents house), the kids were thrilled to see Gunnar.  There was no awkward moment, no shyness, no uncertainty, like I thought there might be.  And we've been having a blast every day since he's been here.

It's hard to not be constantly counting the days - knowing that I only get him for 15.  But I'm really trying to just enjoy what I have right this very minute and not think about saying goodbye to him again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


By now I should know better than to actually make plans for anything.  But I don't.  Gunnar called me with his itinerary, flight information and schedule.  I reserved a table for two at his favorite restaurant, got a fabulous fancy hotel room downtown and started packing an overnight bag for the two of us.  Then he tells me that they are staying overnight in Spain and he'll be home today at noon.  I moved earth and sky to get Priceline to reimburse me for the hotel cancelation, and re-booked for tonight.  Then yep, you guessed it, he called again and said they decided to stay even longer in Spain and flying out the next day.  I have no flight information, not even a rough guess when he's coming home.  He could be flying right now, but I really don't have a clue.  I hope he makes it in at a reasonable time tonight so we can have the romantic date we've both been anticipating for so many months now.  I asked where they were going to have them sleep overnight in Spain.  Poor guy said that they are looking for a gymnasium floor, or something similar for the night.  I can't wait for him to get home so he can have a comfortable place to sleep, good food to eat, and our crazy kids to jump all over him!  How much longer do I have to wait?!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Gunnar flew to Kuwait yesterday, the first leg of his trip home.  The original plan was to fly from Afghanistan to Kuwait, then to Germany, Atlanta and finally Columbus.  However that pesky volcanic eruption in Iceland is making the Germany part of the traveling impossible.  He will fly directly from Kuwait to Atlanta now but not for another few days.  We don't have an exact itinerary just yet.  As a matter of fact, I won't know Gunnar is in the US till he lands in ATL and gives me his flight information.  So I guess I'm basically on standby and will only have a few hours to get ready to pick up my husband after not seeing him for 6 months.  Sheesh!! 

In my head I assumed he is in some Kuwaiti airport or something like that.  I was wrong, as usual.  There is a sort of holding place for traveling soldiers about an hour from the Kuwait airport.  It's basically big huge tents and bunk-cots.  There's coffee shops and fast food joints and Wi-Fi too though, so I'm sure Gunnar will find a way to pass the time.  He is anxious to get home ASAP but still just happy to out of the war for a little while.  When we talked yesterday he had been binging on junk food that he hasn't had forever.  He even tried to order a "Royale with Cheese" a la Pulp Fiction but they poor guy taking his order didn't get the metric system reference. 

I'm hoping that when he does finally arrive in Columbus, it won't be in the middle of the night and we'll have some time to get dinner and have a nice little date, which is way too long overdue.  The Army has a way of messing up plans left and right though, and at this point I'll happily take what I can get.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Big News, and Other Little News

Big news - Gunnar got on a cute little helicopter to begin his journey home for R&R today.  It's  along process to get soldiers home for this type of thing.  The end result is that I have no idea what time or even what day he's actually going to be arriving in the US but any day not spent at his COP and closer to civilization is a good day.  He'll likely stay at the Kandahar Airfield (KAF) for at least two days before flying to Kuwait for up to a few more days.  All of these en route days do not count as part of his R&R which is really awesome.  As desperately as I want to see him, I don't mind a bit if it takes him a full week to travel home.  If you add that kind of travel time onto both ends of his R&R, that makes it almost a month off from actual war activities.  And that makes me smile. 

KAF has lots of delightful amenities like internet, non-satellite phones with decent connections, and lots of comforts of home like places to buy Red Bull, Oakleys and TGIFridays.  Recently Gen McChrystal decided to close many of the commercial entertainment establishments at KAF stating "This is a war zone, not an amusement park".  I totally agree with him - it seems to be a sign we've been somewhere too long when Tim Horton's and movie theaters start popping up.  But at the same time, those things are really nice for soldiers that have been living in tents and caves for endless months and a little taste of something like home is probably very comforting.

Oh!  And then there's that pesky volcano in Iceland that is wreaking havoc on all travel between Europe and the US.  It's possible Gunnar's travel would be delayed by that too but I don't have any details on that yet.  Either way, my man will be home this time next week!!!!  I barely slept the last two nights, I am too excited and can't stop thinking about him. 

In other news, the other day when I talked to Gunnar he told me to get us a babysitter and get myself a fancy dress because we're going to our very first Military Ball Sept 23rd!!  I am really excited about this.  I've heard about these balls before and I'm so excited to have a fancy date with my husband.  We haven't had too many occasions to do something like that in the last few years.  Of course I already went out and bought the perfect dress. 

Next time I post, I should be telling you about Gunnar actually being here!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ohio, Baby!

I freaking love Ohio.  I really do.  I take back all the crap I've said about it every winter of my life.  It really is beautiful here.  And we have amazing things like ridiculously delicious and creative ice cream, and a damn good cup of coffee that isn't Starbucks (not that there's anything wrong with Sbux, but I like having options).

Oh and the people, the lovely people that birthed me and raised me.

My adorable parents

My life long partners in crime

My big sister.

My little brother and sister.

Those five people make this crazy life, this crazy Army adventure so much sweeter and more stable and more fun.  They are all here, we see eachother all the time.  I miss them like crazy when I'm at Fort Bragg.  They help make time go by so much faster and with more fun and more laughs.