Boy + Girl + Army + e-Harmony = Captain and Mrs. Butters! This is what we're up to. Observations, opinions, events, images, and more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Banner Day

When my dog Ellie and I got back to North Carolina, we were greeted by a banner made by my younger brother. You can see where his priorities lie....

It made me laugh. At least I got a small shout-out in the corner.

In other news, I think I can cross "the big crisis" that's supposed to happen during a deployment off my list...I was Car One in a three-car accident yesterday evening. I had stopped to wait on traffic in the other lane to break before turning left into my parents' driveway after work, and the car behind me had also stopped. However, the car behind them hardly slowed down, hit Car Two, and pushed it into me. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and my car (poor, poor Mini Cooper, less than a year old) is still driveable. I think it will need a new bumper. All in all, it could have been a lot worse. After the initial shock of being hit, I really wasn't that upset; after all, eleven years ago I had an accident in which I WAS the driver doing the rear-ending, so I know how easily it can happen. My parents commented on how calm I seemed. All I could think was, After living day and night with the knowledge that my husband is far away in a dangerous place, something happening to my car--with no human injuries--doesn't even compare.

But still, this counts as my Deployment Crisis, right?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Post-R&R Update

I forgot to write about the build-up, but I think I'll record the aftermath.

Toward the end of September, Spike left to go back to Afghanistan...again. He was home for his two weeks of R&R leave, which he received because his unit is scheduled for a 12-month deployment. Spike may not be gone for a full year since he was thrown into the deploying unit last-minute and had to stay behind to catch up on training, but he will still be gone longer than nine months...and I'm certainly not complaining that I got the time with him.

In a nutshell, our R&R "outing" was a four-day trip to Chicago, two of which were shared with Spike's parents. Mostly, though, at Spike's request we stayed home in Kansas. There were a couple day trips to Topeka and Kansas City, but it was surprising (to me, anyway) how nice the everyday, non-exotic things were: going to the grocery store together. Watching a movie. Smoking a cigar on the front porch (okay, maybe that one isn't normal for most people...). Driving into town and walking through mall. Washing the car in the driveway. Cooking dinner. I hadn't realized until Spike was home how much I missed doing those things as a couple; how lonely they could be as only one-half of a team.

I did notice myself trying to cling to the age-old coping mechanism of distancing myself to lessen the pain of separation, which I knew was coming. It didn't work. Dropping Spike off at the airport was still heartbreaking, but I managed to make it back home before I lost it. Small victories.

So now I'm preparing to drive back to North Carolina, where I intend to spend the remainder of the deployment. There, I'll be able to go into the office every day, which is helpful professionally and personally. (Working from home--aka being alone in the house all day, every day--is a recipe for depression, at least in my case.) Being able to interact with my co-workers in person has definitely been a silver lining of this deployment. Another silver lining is the fact that I get to see old, dear friends who still live in NC!

I'm hoping that the holiday rush (and fingers crossed--more violin lessons) makes the rest of the year go by quickly. And once 2013 hits, I think I'll be able to say that we're on the downhill slope of the deployment.