28 April 2011

The Countdown Continues

[These cool magnets are my new stay-busy method. They're fun to make AND play with! Let's find out if they can entertain me for six more short weeks, shall we?]

25 April 2011

26E and 26F

Almost a month ago, I booked Jordan's flight back to Germany. I booked mine tonight and luckily, there was ONE ticket available for the same 14.5 hour flight. 
The only open seat on the entire airplane just happened to be the one right next to his. 
Some would call that fate.

23 April 2011

Army Wife

"Define yourself, as a person."
"First and foremost, I'm an ARMY WIFE.."
[the woman then went on to describe other "defining" traits...]
I heard this exchange last night and it got me thinking...
what does the term "army wife" mean?
In its literal form, it means she's married to a Service member. But it seems it's also become somewhat of a codeword or secret handshake to a club, a cookie cutter mold of who you're supposed to be, sometimes even a hopeful queue for sympathy or an invisible trophy.
To another army wife (even one several generations older than myself) I can say, "Yes, I'm an army wife," And they imagine the PCS moves, the deployment worries, the bad FRGs, the lonely nights and even the perks of military life and the amazing friendships we make.
But to the majority of the population, what does it mean? When I asked an unaffiliated civilian man, this is the answer I got:

"It depends on how you use it. Some girls wear it like a rank. You should show commitment to your husband. You're not marrying the military, you're marrying the man. The term army wife can show your dedication and true colors if you wear it the right way. There aren't a lot of women who can do it. It's like the old Navy saying, 'the few and the proud.' That should be said for the wives too."

I'm incredibly proud of the path he's chosen, but his life doesn't define mine. His job may direct our lives, but it doesn't make me who I am. Honestly, his job doesn't even make him who he is. It might dictate his haircut, but not the kind of person he is inside. I didn't marry the uniform (although he looks amazing in them), I married Jordan. The man who makes up silly songs with me and cools his too-hot-burrito by holding out the window while he drives. The man who wrestles with his pets, long after they get annoyed and isn't afraid to kiss his mother in front of his friends. I married the man who MAKES the uniform.

22 April 2011

The Countdown Continues

LUCKY NUMBER 7. 
 Better news than that? In only four weeks, he'll be back in Germany. Then, we can all breathe again.
7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

18 April 2011

C'mon CATTLE!

My trip to DALLAS:
We went to the Dallas Art Festival.
We went to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
[the cat and rat had NO problem staying on while the dog walked. amazing.]
We enjoyed the Texas Bluebonnets.
We ate INCREDIBLE food, all weekend.
We checked out the JFK memorial/assassination site.
We hung out by Uncle Gill's pool.
It was, to say the least, a FABULOUS weekend. Thanks, Mom and Bryan!

14 April 2011

The Countdown Continues

Eight Weeks Left. 
Eight Facts:
1. CELEBRITY CRUSHES: 
[Jordan - Olivia Munn] [Erica - John Krasinski]
2. FAVORITE BAND/ARTIST: 
[Jordan - Avenged Sevenfold] [Erica - Beyonce]
3. WE TAKE OUR COFFEE: 
[Jordan - Black] [Erica - With Soy Milk and Caramel]
4. FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH: 
[Jordan - San Fransisco] [Erica - Avila Beach]
5. FAVORITE MOVIE: 
[Jordan - Wizard of Oz] [Erica - Breakfast at Tiffany's]
6. SOMETHING WE AGREE ON: 
Married people with conjoined FB profiles are lame. 
(sorry, friends)
7. SOMETHING WE DISAGREE ON: 
Most political issues. 
(although, we can civilly discuss any topic)
8. CHILDHOOD NICKNAMES: 
[Jordan - Peanut Buttercup] [Erica - Peaches Magee]

Spring

A Good Indication That Spring Has Sprung [FINALLY]:









And with that being said, I'm off to Dallas to find warmer temperatures, to go with my Spring! See you next week!

13 April 2011

The Last Care Package


The box pictured above happens to be a very special one, and it has nothing to do with its contents- it's the very last care package of this deployment! Over the last eleven months, I've made countless trips to the post office to send off packages containing various requests and necessities, as well as letters and gifts. There have been themed boxes for holidays, boxes full of boring things like toiletries, boxes upon boxes of junk food.. you name it, I've sent it. 

Some of Jordan's Requests:
- Chili Cheese Fritos
- Amps
- Peanut Butter
- Crackers
- Tuna and Chicken  (the vacuum sealed packages)
- 5 Hour Energy Shots
- Easy Mac
- Crystal Light On The Go
- Soft Lips chapstick

I can't even recall how many pairs of Skull Candy headphones that man has gone through. They have a warranty, but trying to get the broken ones back from Afghanistan AND tracking down the right receipt became a joke after the second pair. He's gone through two cameras, about a million DVDs and XBOX 360 games (he still sent them home, even though they were scratched to hell and back, bless his soul), and he's on his second laptop. The combination of Jordan and sand has been lethal on too many electronics to count and he's lost/ruined/given away/sold so many items, it's hard to even choose a few to list.
Of all those things, the most important to him arrived back on our doorstep unharmed by sand, Jordan or any other element in Afghanistan, about a month ago. A photo album full of all the pictures I've sent him (of us, of me, of family), a folder full of every letter, note or card he's received since deploying (from me, from friends, from family) and the sweetest, smallest, most sentimental thing I've ever seen: 
The day he left home from his pre-deployment leave, he took one of my hair pins and put it in his pocket. In all the emotion of the day, I hardly noticed. But there it was, in the midst of all of his most treasured items. The tiniest, most personal belonging my soldier carried around for all those months, unharmed. Amazing.

11 April 2011

Tax Season

[This post may be a bit boring. It's mostly for journal purposes.]
The most frustrating time of the year is upon us: TAX SEASON. And unfortunately for those of us who have procrastinated, the deadline is just days away. This is our first deployment and our first year filing taxes as married people, and I have no clue what I'm doing. So with the help of google, yahoo, military.com and a million other websites, I've decided to speak with a CPA. [Un]luckily for me, Jordan and I forgot to arrange a POA while he was home on pre-deployment leave, so this should get interesting...

Being 6,500 miles and an ocean away from our FRG is not so helpful. I need an Army Wife 101 book. Next time around, I'll be better prepared.
[I'm sure next time around, I'll say the same thing.]

09 April 2011

52 Glorious Minutes

Jordan (L) and Justin (R). Best Battle Buddies Forever.

Between not hearing from Jordan all week, having the flu, the snow (in April?!), the government shut down bologna and piles upon piles of laundry, this has been one heck of a week! Never mind all that, though. Everything seemed to fade into the background when... JORDAN CALLED this morning! After 8 whole days without a single word from my sweet soldier, he finally called. We were able to talk for 52 glorious minutes and I wouldn't trade them for the world. We talked about politics, family, friends and furniture- the usual. In the midst of a short emotional breakdown on my end, he said, "Baby, no more tears. I'm almost home." And just like that, I was beaming again, smiling from ear to ear. He always seems to call on the perfect day (normally when I'm on the brink of a catastrophic meltdown), and seemingly without effort, turns my day around. 
As of currently, there is no internet access on the FOB, which means the only way the men are able to contact loved ones, is through one of the few phones in the MWR. Hopefully the internet will be up and running within the next couple of weeks.

05 April 2011

The Countdown Continues


Time is going by quickly, ladies and gents. Only about 9 WEEKS LEFT, until Jordan comes home from Afghanistan!
The choice for this week's countdown photo is Derek Roy (#9) of the Buffalo Sabres, our favorite hockey team. Before we were together, I didn't even know the first thing about hockey. In November of 2009, Jordan deployed to Romania for a short amount of time and asked if I would follow his team for him. I promised I would, without skipping a beat. I learned a lot about the game REALLY quickly, so I wouldn't look like a complete idiot, much thanks to wikipedia, google and sabres.com. I winged a few conversations and impressed him with word-for-word quotes from Yahoo Sports. I like to think my faked knowledge of his favorite sport earned me some "cool" points, as well as a new common interest in hockey.

Journal Page

03 April 2011

His Love Radiates

"Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and blows up the bonfire."-Francois de la Rouchefoucauld

These past ten months have been incredible. I've felt nerves as high as the sky, happiness I never knew existed, love stronger than I've ever read about and pain strong enough to take a life. Through it all, Jordan has been standing right next to me.

When he's away, I can feel his love radiating like the sun's rays stretching ninety-three million miles, through the thickest of clouds, to warm the grass so far beneath it. There has never been a moment, no matter how far the distance between us, that I haven't physically felt his love. When he tells me he loves me more than any man has ever loved, I believe him. To me, Jordan IS love.

I'll always be thankful to him for being my rock, my shoulder, through these tough times. I will forever be grateful. He is, without a doubt, the strongest man I know. It takes a brave soul to endure the things he does. I am a lucky girl to be able to call Jordan my husband. Every day I strive to be half as strong as he is.

I love him with everything I've got, I miss him every single second of each day and dream of kissing his sweet lips each night.