A Big Ol’ Monthly Roundup

April and May came and went, and I’m sitting here thinking how the heck is it already June?! Fortunately I can say I actually did things the last two months so they weren’t just withered away binge-watching Netflix, which is more than I can say for those winter months…

Like I said in my previous post, one of my goals for April was to start running consistently. Well, I started running and I’m happy to say I’ve been able to stick to a schedule and do it regularly each week. This may not seem like such a big deal, but it is for this girl. I was worried I would start wheezing and coughing up a fit like every other time I tried to run, but thankfully I’ve been fine! Seems like that surgery is paying off after all!

Also in April news, D graduated Ranger School! This was a big, exciting accomplishment. He likes to act like this was no big deal, but it’s huge. He also got his airborne wings in May, so that was another accomplishment checked off his list, and I am so so proud of him.

I made my way down to Portland in May for a weekend. It was…honestly super weird. I know that’s Portland’s claim to fame/thing, but I really was not expecting it to be as weird as it is. I’m not entirely sure what I had expected, but it caught me off guard. I think it came down to how empty it seemed. It felt like there weren’t any people around us, and we were staying in the middle of Downtown Portland! Aside from that though, I did enjoy the few touristy things there are to do there. This list is great if you’re planning a trip to Portland any time soon. I recommend Voodoo Doughnuts. It is popular and busy but the lines aren’t as bad as you’d expect. Also, the tax-free shopping doesn’t hurt either. I also really enjoyed all the food trucks everywhere. That was pretty cool. Overall, I probably won’t be going back to Portland anytime soon, but it was a nice experience.

I surprised my family and went home for Mother’s Day, and the look on both my parents’ faces when they saw me was priceless. Unfortunately I was only there for 36 hours, so it was a quick trip, but it was still great to see my crazy loud family and spend some time together. Traveling back and forth across the country is not easy, and with my dearly beloved boyfriend staying in Georgia longer than the Army first said he would, it’s safe to say I’ll be racking up those frequent flier miles in the next few months; starting with next weekend when I travel to GA for D’s birthday! Woohoo!

And for the last bit of news, I’m excited (and slightly terrified) to share that this week I completed my first week of graduate school! Going back to school has always been on my mind since graduating two years ago. For a while, I just gave up on it and figured it wouldn’t happen or be a good option for me, but thankfully I have an amazing boyfriend and great friends who encouraged me to pursue my goals and take the leap of faith. So I did! The program is completely online, which fits in with my lifestyle, work and commute schedule. The first week was challenging, and I know it’ll only get hard during the next 10 weeks, but I am thrilled to be starting on this new chapter in my life. That’s going to be taking up most of my life now to say the least!

 

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March; Looking Back and Ahead

Happy April!

A week or two ago, I decided to start a new monthly theme highlighting the favorite or important moments from the previous month, but also a few notable things that I’m looking forward to in the new month. It’s pretty basic, really and not anything particularly special, but I think it’d be a fun way to remember the little/big things that happen each month. So here we are, starting with March!

Take it back now, y’all:

  • Ed Sheeran’s released a new album and IT IS AMAZING!! I was admittedly a little thrown off when I first heard the album; I wasn’t really sure what I had expected from him, especially after the success of his second album a few years ago, but after giving it a good listen (shout out to my long commute to work and Seattle traffic for giving me time to listen to an entire album), I was blown away. Needless to say, it’s been on repeat all month and will be for a while. And I got tickets to his concert in July, so I’m pretty stoked about that!
  • My sister came all the way from New York to visit me for a week! It was so good having her here with me. I knew she would love it, because really what’s not to love. We didn’t get to do too many things since I had surgery and she was here to take care of me during my time of incapacitation, but it made me incredibly happy to have someone from my family finally come and see what it’s like out here.
  • Speaking of surgery, I had sinus surgery last Monday to remove nasal polyps and fix my deviated septum. I’ve had issues with allergies and my sinuses for years, but recently they got so bad I could barely breathe, especially at night when I would be kept awake just coughing all night. It also made doing regular things like going for a run or laughing too much a bit of a hassle. The running part I didn’t mind so much since it gave me an excuse to avoid going on a run with Dalton, but it was pretty embarrassing when I would start coughing if I laughed too much. But after this surgery, I’m hoping most of those issues I had will be gone. I’m still currently in recovery and will be for a few weeks, but I feel rather hopeful. It’s been a long struggle.
  • Dalton passed the first phase of Ranger School this month! He’s 1/3 through at this point, though we find out this week if he passed the 2nd phase or not. We can only communicate through letters during this time, so that’s been a bit of a struggle, and my emotions have been all over the place, to say the least, but I know whatever I’m feeling, he’s going through much worse. I seriously cannot wait for it to be over.
  • I gave up shopping and drinking for wine because those are my biggest vices and for the most part it hasn’t been too bad! I will admit I kind of regretted giving up drinking when I realized how much I missed Dalton, but then again it was probably in my best interest that I did give it up. (wow I sound like I have all kinds of issues). I don’t need wine to cope, but it sure is nice to have a glass after a stressful week at work. I’m looking forward to Easter Sunday in a few weeks 😛

Looking Ahead:

  • I honestly cannot believe I’m even writing this right now, but one thing I’m looking forward to is being able to start working out again after getting the okay from my doctor. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I couldn’t do it at all. Now I don’t want to make it seem like I work out everyday, because I definitely do not, but I do a few times a week. I’d also like to test out my new and improved sinuses and see if I can actually run now. That might be pushing it, but I’ll report back at the end of the month!
  • Tulip Season has arrived! I will hopefully be going to Skagit Valley to see the tulip fields. It’s apparently a big deal around here, so I’m looking forward to that.
  • If Dalton passes the next two phases, I’ll be going down to Georgia for his graduation. I can’t tell you how anxious and excited and nervous I am all at once. Here’s hoping and praying he passes; I miss him so much.
  • I recently purchased a pile of books that I put in a corner and promptly forgot about. I have a bit more time on my hands lately, so my hope for April is to at least finish two books. That might be expecting too much of myself, especially given my reading track record lately, but we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, that’s all for now! I’m excited for April and have a feeling it’s going to fly by. Hopefully it’s a good one.

Can You Visit This Weekend?

It’s been a month since I went to visit J after his graduation from Navy boot camp. Throughout this month, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out when we’ll be able to see each other again. Being in a long distance relationship is not easy. There are times when all I want is to spend some time doing nothing with J, like we used to, but I can’t because he’s so far away. And it’s fine because fortunately, we live in 2014 and things like Skype and Facetime exist! We don’t get to talk much during the week, since his schedule is so hectic and he has to go to bed early, but we are able to talk on weekends, which has been great.

I honestly was not expecting to be able to talk to him as much as I do. It’s been a blessing, one that I’m enjoying now as much as I can. Lord knows it probably won’t last once he really gets started on his intense training!

One thing I’ve learned from our distance so far is how important honesty and trust are. Communication is key, but it doesn’t mean anything if we’re not really communicating with each other about the important things and being totally honest about how we feel. Fortunately, I think we’re doing fairly well in that department so far. 

So I don’t know when I’m going to see him again, hopefully it’ll be within the next month though. But for the time being, we’ll be enjoying each other’s company via screens. It is definitely not the same as being together in person, of course, but it’s better than nothing!

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I can’t believe it, but next Monday marks two months since J shipped off to basic! These two months seemed to just fly by. Graduation is on Friday, and I am so happy that I will be able to be there with him for this special day. I won’t be able to actually attend the ceremony in person because he only gets 4 tickets and his family is going, but I will be watching it live at the hotel. Afterwards, he will be on liberty and we’ll all be able to spend some time together throughout the weekend. It is not much, but at this point, I will take anything I can get!

Through his letters, J said that basic sucked. I know he was sick for quite some time, but thankfully has recovered since. As he described in his letter 6 weeks ago, basic is a lot like prison, with a huge light at the end of the tunnel, and now he’s almost there.

I wasn’t planning on going to his graduation until 3 weeks ago. Originally, I wanted it to be a surprise; I wasn’t going to tell him anything, but I forgot to mention that to his parents, and his dad told him when he called. At first, I was a bit disappointed that he knew but now I’m so glad he knows I’m going because I’ve been able to write him about my plans for the trip.

During these two months, I tried to write him everyday. Some days, writing to him made me feel better. Other days though, I felt worse. For about two weeks around Christmastime, I don’t know what hit me but I was not in good shape. I felt so empty; everything bothered me, yet at the same time, I didn’t care about anything. It was just a weird time for me. Of course, I tried my hardest to keep that to myself. No point in making it a big deal. Fortunately, that blew over quickly enough and I was able to move on. Thank God for that!

I spoke to him on Sunday for half an hour! That was definitely an unexpected blessing and I’m so grateful for it. Tomorrow, I leave for graduation. I’m leaving a few days early in case the weather decides to act up and delay all flights across the country. Not cool, dude, not cool. Also, this trip is made possible thanks to my big brother who works at an airport and was able to get his little sister a super decently priced round trip airline ticket! Yay for successful siblings!

Just 3 more days until I see him, and I cannot wait!

 

Go Away, You Scrooge

I love everything about Christmas: the lights, the cheer, the food and baked goods, the gift giving spirit, the parties and get-togethers, and most of all, the reason for the season, the birth of the baby Jesus. It has always been my favorite time of the year. I always dedicate a lot of time to preparing for the special day, and tend to go a bit out of budget doing so. I am not sure exactly why it is, but I am not fully in the holiday mood this year. Sure, I’ve bought gifts for everyone in my family, I’ve been listening to Christmas music religiously since October, and I’m planning on baking enough to feed all the elves in the North Pole, but something just doesn’t feel right this year.

I realized this as I was writing to J this morning, like I do almost everyday. I’ve narrowed down my humbug-ness two reasons:

1) I have a full-time job this year and didn’t even help with any of the decorations around the house. I plan on remedying this by not going to work tomorrow, even though the office is open. Nothing against my job, I just think it will help improve my mood.

and

2) Christmas is mine and J’s season. We met at a Christmas party last year and started talking exactly one year ago today, on Christmas Eve Eve. I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic tonight, and remembering that first night that we stayed up texting the whole night. That night was the beginning of our relationship. Not being able to talk to him while he’s in basic training is getting more difficult during this time, since this time last year, we were already a part of each other’s lives. 

I know I’ll get over it. I have to. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, and I really do not want to be a Scrooge and ruin Christmas for myself. I want to enjoy it, so it’s just a matter of accepting the cards I have been dealt and realizing that these cards aren’t all that bad; they could be worse. I have a good life, a great relationship with my boyfriend, and family that cares about me, so I think it is time for me to kick this Scrooge out from under my roof onto the streets.

But first, I will have some vino.

2 weeks and counting

Over two weeks ago, I wrote about J leaving for basic training. At the time, I didn’t really know how I felt. I was happy and at peace with his departure and I still am but I didn’t exactly know what to expect and if I’m being totally honest with myself, I still don’t!

Being apart hasn’t been what I imagined it would be. I thought I’d be crying myself to sleep every night, holding on to his old sweatshirt that still smells like him. Or that seeing pictures of us together would make the waterworks come pouring out of me. But it hasn’t been like that. Sure, here have been times when I felt on the verge of those overly dramatic feelings but I knew I had to stop myself. Why? Because when i think about it, what would be the point in it all? He won’t magically show up at my door because he heard me crying from over 1000 miles away. It wouldn’t make a difference. It would only make things harder for me! I also know that he wouldn’t want me to be that way either. Also, I don’t want to be that girl. I’d like to think that I can keep it together a lot better than that. I do find comfort in his old t-shirt though and wear it to bed every night. And our pictures remind me of the great times we had together and of the great times we will have together again.

I miss him oh so terribly but I found that constantly staying busy is the best way to deal with it all. My classes and job keep me quite busy. J and I used to spend weekends together. With him being gone, I have more free time on the weekends. Besides doing homework, I now use my extra free time on the weekends to try out new recipes. I’ve been baking and cooking and I’m really enjoying it. There are times when I just wish J could try what I made but I tell myself that I’ll make it for him someday and when I do, it’ll taste way better than this first time. Maybe, just maybe, during this time apart, I’ll become the next Julia Child or something! Okay, pipe dream. Moving along.

I haven’t heard from him yet but it’s only been two weeks. Plus, these first few weeks are some of the longest in basic training so I can’t say I’m surprised he hasn’t had time to write yet. Still, I check my mailbox every day, hoping that’ll be the day I hear from him. I’ve sent him a few letters already. Writing to him about my day helps but I’m always worried that I’ll say the wrong thing and make him miss home even more. Or maybe I’m just being super paranoid for no reason. I tend to do that a lot.

I don’t know when I’ll get a letter from him but I’ll keep checking my mailbox and writing to him often. And pinning new recipes on Pinterest that I have to try but probably never will. There are just way too many to get to them all.

And so it begins

The wait is over. J has officially left for basic training in the Navy today. Saying goodbye wasn’t easy but somehow, I managed not to cry much! I was so worried that I would be a totally mess and would only make saying our goodbyes that much harder for us both but it wasn’t that bad. It was a bittersweet moment. We were both in good spirits and he even followed my bus for a few miles. Haha, that dork.

Our last 12 hours together were great. His mom made a Thanksgiving meal for him, since he’ll still be in basic during the holidays, of course. We watched a movie together and spent the rest of the time just talking in his favorite place, the woods behind his house. No fuss, no drama. It was unplanned and perfect.

There was also something different in J. It might’ve been because he was mentally preparing himself to leave, but he seemed to be counting on me a lot more for moral support. I know leaving home wasn’t easy for him, so I had to be strong and not make it any harder for him. I’m so glad I was able to keep it together!

People keep asking me how I’m holding up and if I’m okay, and I am really happy to say that I actually am okay. Of course I miss him already and the whole no-contact-except-by-letters will be difficult to deal with but I know it won’t be unbearable or impossible. I think it’ll be sweet to have those letters in hand, as as something to look back to in the future.

He’s doing what he’s always dreamed of doing and I’m working on my goals as well. We’re apart but I’m not worried. Maybe I’m a little nervous about the unexpected things the next few months hold but not worried.

I’m happy, confident and totally in love.