dune hikers

September. You’re here and it seems there’s nothing I can do to stop your progression. You bear the threat of cooler days, longer nights, and less sunshine. You also carry the hope of the future, job hunting, and moving. I’m hoping we can come out of this, if not friends, at least better than frenemies.

All jokes of being frenemies with a month of the year aside, September is shaping up to be an interesting month. B has three job interviews on the calendar, with a fourth pending and several more applications floating out in the nebulous waiting to be scheduled. He’s still progressing on the Fed job front with offers from two agencies. Unfortunately for me, that means he leaves this weekend and spare a twelve hour turn around, will be gone for two weeks, then back four days, then gone for another weekend.

I’m feeling a bit lost at what to do with all the alone time I’ll have. I’m a hard core extrovert. I reenergize by spending time with people that I like. While some of the need to socialize has quieted thanks to working amongst people every day, I still like to spend my weekend with a good mix of socializing and being lazy. With B leaving me every weekend this month, I need a game plan. More than filling the weekends though, I need a plan for the lonelier week nights when the house I’ll come home to is empty.

First, I plan to delay going home by working out every day after work. Even on Fridays, unless I get invited to dinner by someone, I want to log some time at the gym. Second, even though it’s a total pain in the butt to do, I plan to walk the dogs as often as the weather will let me, even if it means bringing out the dreaded gentle leaders. Third, I’m going to come up with a meal plan for the entire time that he is gone so that I don’t give in to the whisper that take out is easier. Fourth, I’m going to try and read at least four books in September. And fifth, I’m going to commit to working at least four days a week on learning Spanish.

Do you have any goals for September?

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Weekly Wishes

wedding security

wedding security

My FIL sent us the pictures he took at the wedding today. To say that I was excited wouldn’t do my feelings full justice. They’re all over facebook, I’ve tweeted them, and now I’m including some in my blog post. While I want to blog all the pictures, I also want to wait for the ones from my awesome photographer. But still, how can you not love photos involving a wedding party with guns?

don't mess with the bridal party

don’t mess with the bridal party

Since coming back from the wedding, I’ve felt a little lost. I don’t have a project that consumes the majority of my free time. B is working like mad on his school and all his job applications. We know he’s out of the AF by year end, we just aren’t entirely sure when that date will be. What we do know is that he’s about to leave for two weeks to hit up three job interviews. Now I just need to find a project.

Reflections – Lows:

One of my coworkers got pretty snotty this week. Add that to the doldrums from wedding planning being over and I was pretty weepy this week. Still, a pizza buffet dinner followed by a run on Thursday seems to have majorly turned things around.

Reflections – Highs:

Some stuff at work is really going well. I received a thank you note from my supervisor for being so flexible and willing to help out. I’ve also been invited to join a focus group working toward improving our customer service. Too bad I’m leaving sooner rather than later.

Getting the pictures from my FIL for the wedding. These are definitely enough to to satiate my desire for pictures…at least for a little while. But seriously, it’s fun to see how just the snapshots turned out. I can’t wait to see what my photographers pulled off.

mr and mrs smith

mr and mrs smith


Work out. I feel better when I get to the gym and work out. No more skipping to go home and cry.

Come up with a plan for while B is gone. He’s leaving me next Sunday for two weeks and I need a game plan for eating, working out, and just generally making it through with that much free time on my hands.

What’s on tap for you this week?

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Weekly Wishes

I’m in this odd place of not knowing what to do with myself. The wedding has come and gone. It was amazing and I have so many thoughts about it that are still swirling in my head. Now, though, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. There’s no need to find a blissful routine seeing as this celebration didn’t change anything. We’re still in limbo as far as B’s work and where we’ll go next. I feel like I’m in the doldrums and I would very much like to not stay here for too long. Thus, I’m looking for momentum on anything in order to fight my way past the emptiness left by not needing to do one last thing for the wedding anymore.

Reflections – Lows:

Crying away most of today. I’ve just been at a loss for what to do with myself.

Reflections – Highs:

Basking in the glow of all the wonderful blessings that came from the wedding.

Going out with friends two days in a row this weekend. Having people to do things with definitely helps fight the doldrums.

Finding two pairs of comfy and still somewhat cute shoes for work and play. Even if that was accompanied with realizing that I need a bigger size than normal.


Work out four days this week. Since I don’t have a wedding to plan any more or a wedding dress to fit into (I almost got too small for it), I want to turn some of my focus back onto getting in shape.

Do a Duolingo Spanish lesson every day. In the same vein of fighting the doldrums, I want to learn Spanish. I figure it will be a useful language to know and I miss learning.

Enjoy every last ounce of somewhat nice weather. Our highs are already starting to drop and I want to eke out as much enjoyment as I can from the weather before things take a turn for the frigid.

What’s on tap for you this week?

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On the Edge

I sit on the edge of the ocean. This ocean is not the calm and serene ocean featured in airbrushed magazine ads for Tahiti or Jamaica. This is the ocean off the coast of Ireland, full of rage and tempest. The spray of the ocean breaking on the rocks melds with the gray mist of the sky and turns the whole world upside down. And there, in the in-between, I sit.

I am neither here nor there and I’m not fully sure that I ever will be safely on one side or the other ever again. Sometimes, when you slip in-between, there’s no full recovery to safety. All you can do is sit and watch and feel the spray.

The time I fought from drowning doesn’t feel so long ago. The heaviness in my chest, the emptiness in my hands as I cradled that which I blessedly couldn’t hold, the weight pinning my heart to the depths of my soul, it tried to crush me and now it haunts me. If I am stuck betwixt and between, can I ever forget?

Can I ever forget the look in his eyes when he came home fearing the worst? Can I ever forget the sound of his heart breaking when he told me he couldn’t remember the last time he wanted to come home to me? Can I ever lose in the distant past what was stolen from me? Can I ever escape the in-between?

Maybe this edge is where I am meant to live. Maybe we all are. Because once you’ve sat on these shores, you don’t forget. You don’t escape. You carry a piece of the topsy-turvy with you for the rest of your life.

Sometimes it threatens to overwhelm and crash everything down on top of you and around you. Sometimes it drags you backward towards the spray. Sometimes it simply reminds you where you once were and where you never will be. Sometimes the in-between saves you. Sometimes it takes you away.

I sit at the edge of the ocean, past and future crashing together in the salt-sea spray. I am of the in-between and I will wait to welcome survivors to this desolate shore. We may not ever leave, but staying doesn’t rob us of living.

I sit at the edge and watch the world around me crash. The sky and sea merge into one, and there in the in-between, am I.

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For Love of Family

sisters by law and love

sisters by law and love

Family. The joke goes that you can’t live with or without them. It’s true, but it’s never the whole picture.

One of my earliest memories is of one of my older sisters turning off the light in the bathroom on me. I couldn’t reach the light switch so I tried to wash my hands anyway. The water came out scalding hot. I was less than three years old, as we moved out of that house before my fourth birthday.

Isn’t that just the picture of sisterhood?

Another strong memory is of being on the bus with my two sisters. One was goofing off with friends when a pencil somehow got jammed into her eye. My oldest sister was at the back of the bus and immediately jumped up to go to her. The bus driver yelled at my eldest sister to sit down and she yelled back that he could stuff it as she made sure my other sister was okay.

Because sisterhood.

Family, to me, is such a difficult and fluid concept. There is the pain of family that turns their back on you when you make choices they don’t agree with. There is the warmth of friends who love you like family who remind you that no matter what, they will always be there.

Long before I met B, I always imagined that my future in-laws would be…non-existent. Seriously. I dreamed that my guy would be an orphan. Or estranged from his family. Thanks to a strained relationship between my Mom and my Dad’s parents, I knew there were worse things than dead in-laws to deal with in life. Prior to meeting his family, I remember asking him what if they didn’t life me and he told me that they didn’t have to be part of our lives if that was the case.

Because family.

Now, I love my in-laws. I am so blessed that out of the lot of them, only one person rubs me the wrong way. But, that’s bound to happen in life. What I do know is that I’m blessed.

I’m blessed by my family of origin. They have been nothing but supportive of me in my life. After B asked me to move in with him, three months after meeting him, I remember talking to my Mom and her telling me that I couldn’t do anything but give it a shot. She told me that I had to look at it from the perspective of what would I regret not doing. Her support is what gave me the courage to move from Texas to North Dakota and start an incredible life with him.

I am blessed with my in-laws. My MIL and I are two peas in a pod. I finally have a multitude of younger brothers and sisters (I’m the oldest of the group of us thus far). They have never been anything other than loving or accepting of me.

I am blessed by my family of choice (aka friends). I have friends that have seen me through everything. We’ve done everything from waffles and smirnoff to celebrate 21st birthdays before going to class to fifteen hour round trips to Austin for a night of fun. We’ve laughed and cried for years together.

Family. It’s so much more than birth and blood.



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Five for Friday v.6

crazy in love

crazy in love

(one) My adorable sister-in-law had a photo booth guestbook at their wedding. We not only got to keep one strip of the photos, but they also emailed them to an address of your choice. The other strip was pasted to a piece of black paper and then they had a silver marker to write a note to them. We’re doing the other version of the photo book guestbook, using one that features photos of us together from when we got married the first time and all the trips we’ve taken. Still I’m a little sad that we didn’t think of this, because I love that they’ll have a guestbook full of notes and pictures.

(two) We’re two weeks out from the wedding this weekend. I feel like I should be more panicked or at least have more to do. But, pretty much everything is taken care of. We still need to find a place for the rehearsal day feasting, but my MIL is in charge of that so I’ll just trust her to do it. The seating chart is done, the ceremony is written, and the music has all been picked. I still need to finalize with the bar guy, but I have that scheduled for lunch tomorrow. Mostly I’m to the part of getting to just coast in and enjoy everything.

(three) Sam and I ran two whole miles without stopping on Thursday. While I’ve run farther before, that was only by a mile and never without a little bit of walking in there. But, we managed two miles in 19:42. I’m pretty proud of that. Now to just have that pride help spur me out of bed early in order to run before work.

(four) Tonight we’re having dinner with a few of the couples we’ve been getting to know. This is the first place we’ve lived in four years of marriage that we’ve made friends this quickly. Either it’s because we’re getting better at it, or because the balance is finally somewhat evened out between who is doing the meeting. It’s really nice though to have plans most weekends with other young couples. Needless to say, I’m excited to see them all and have dinner and drinks to usher in the weekend.

(five) We are binging on movies this weekend! We started with Hercules on Thursday night which was very self-aware in how crazy it was and played that up the entire time. Next on the list are Lucy and Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not sure if we’ll do them both in the same day, hit one each day, or save one for midweek next week, but they are both getting watched between now and next Friday.

Bring on the weekend!

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Weekly Wishes

Why do the weekends go by so quickly? We spent ours hiking, napping, making ice cream, and trying to hit the right balance between being lazy and getting shit done. I spent an hour vacuuming out my car today and I managed to achieve 98% dog hair removal. Other than that, I actually cooked dinner last night and tonight which is a rare weekend accomplishment. Still, it seems the weekends fly by way too quickly. I’m so not ready to go back to work this week.

In other news, we’re under 20 days until the wedding. I finished hammering out the wedding day timeline with the photographer today. Now we just need to pick where to have the Friday night “Welcome” dinner. The quotations are important because it will pretty much just be our wedding party and a few extra family members. I originally just wanted to do pizza at the hotel, but it seems that like everything else in life, nothing is that simple.

Reflections – Lows:

Driving out to base for events three nights last week. After the second one, upon leaving the base for a half hour drive home after 2130, I told B that I was opting out of the optional fourth night out there. It made for a long week.

Spending most of today being productive or chilling on the computer while B did homework. I know he has to do it, but I really do wish he would do it in bits and pieces throughout the week instead of cramming in four hours worth on a Sunday.

Reflections – Highs:

Picking up my ring. I love looking at it and struggled with paying attention at the dinner on Friday due to wanting to watch it sparkle on my hand.

Making homemade ice cream on Friday/Saturday. We mixed up a vanilla base and then added in crushed Oreos for a cookie and cream flavor. Definitely fun to do and nice to have a little treat that we made ourselves.

Taking the pups hiking this past Saturday. It was fun to let them go run and swim and ramble all over the State Park. They both came home and were nice and exhausted for a couple of hours.


Get back to the gym this week. Last week was crazy for it, but the time for excuses has past. I’m aiming for a good week of both eating and working out.

Find a place to have our welcome dinner. It really can’t be that hard, right?

What’s on tap for you this week?

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