Saturday, February 4, 2012


Today was the first day that my husband has actually
been "owned" by the army. 

Today was the first day I spent a whole Saturday here
by myself without a car since...a long time ago.

Today was the first day in a good long while
that my husband was more tired than me at 10:00 p.m.

Today was the first day John got to interact with the people
he is going to help through this chaplaincy program.

Today was the first day that my husband got to see
the evidence of the clearest reason God brought us here.

Today was the first day of many where I'll listen to my
husband tell as many stories in such an enthusiastic way
as he did today. 

was a good day.

Only we could have expected change happen so unexpectedly.

Saturday starts the chapter for us
that we've been trying to write for quite some time.

The main issue was that we had the pen, but
the delivery man had yet to bring us some paper.

Well, take that metaphor and apply it to
the army, and guess what -
that's our life.

Saturday is officially Day 1 of this army life we're
going to be living.  John starts drill in T-minus
7 hours, and he found out about said drill weekend
T-plus 36 hours ago.

Oh, and we found out about where and with whom
John would be drilling T-plus 48 hours ago.

But wait - John was supposed to be told this information
about 3 months ago.  You know - T-plus 3 months ago.

And wait - this was a process we started 14 months ago (no "T-plus" there). 

That, my friends, is how you learn patience and grace.

That, my friends, is how you hone your sense of humor.

And that, my friends, is the definition of
hurry up and wait. 

Welcome [back] to the military to us.
Welcome [back]. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stories about my dad, #2

Something my dad always liked to do was tell stories.

After multiple brain surgeries and a reconstructive one on
the area where the surgeries took place,
he ended up having a hard time telling stories that weren't
what we had heard many times before.

I think that it was
a. the way he rebuilt relationship with people after he hadn't seen
them in a while,
b. the way he emphasized what was important to him,
c. the way he got through the effects the surgeries had on his
short term memory so that he could get to new stories or
thoughts that he had that day.

Also, he would forget a lot of things as his time on earth winded down,
and he was known for randomly switching conversation topics,
particularly when he got tired.

While this was difficult and frustrating for all of us at times,
it definitely also provided for some laughs - a necessary thing
when going through tragedy like this.

One of those times he did a topic switch-er-roo happened when
John asked Dad for my hand in marriage.

John drove down to PI from the cities one Monday afternoon.
He happened to pull in the same time as my sister.  She looked
at John with two seconds of confusion, then started freaking out (of course).
She knew what was coming, and, apparently, so did my dad.

Ashley walked into the house and yelled, "Dad, John's here to talk to you!"

John headed upstairs where my dad was.  They started shaking hands, and
my dad started "smiling like a fool" as soon as he got it.  He didn't
quit shaking John's hand. 

John asked dad, "So Gary, do you know why I'm here?"
Dad said "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah" with his classic chuckle during
excitable situations.

"Well, I'd like to ask permission to marry your daughter," John told my dad.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." Dad replied, still grinning from ear to ear.

"Well, Gary, what do you think about that?  Is that ok?"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."  Still happy, still shaking John's hand.

As they have this exchange, Ashley tells John to come downstairs
to talk about all the details of the proposal (she had to know!).

After a little while, Dad yells down, "Ashley, tell John to come up here when he's done."

John went upstairs, and Dad said, "You know, you didn't have to ask my permission."

"I know," John said, "but I felt it was the right thing to do, and I wanted to do it."

"Ok.  Say - I need to show you something."

So at that point John was thinking that Dad was going to give him some kind of
advice about marriage or what Dad did to propose to my mom.

Instead, Dad proceeded to go to the kitchen,
open the freezer,
and say
"Check out these walleye I caught!"

Classic Dad.  You never knew when a moment like that was going to happen next.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Work it out

So tonight I went to Zumba.

It was the first class of the semester at the new
fitness center at TIU.

Let's just say that when you see the Zumba FB photo pop up on your news feed
and it's a split screen of what you feel like and what you actually look like
when doing this hour-long-
what you see will be 100% accurate.

After a while, or at least
when you still have energy,
you feel great,
you know:

Having fun,
feeling the beat,
and all that.

The catch, however,
is when you haven't worked out hard in YEARS
and it's been almost 5 years since you
did any form of dancing regularly,
well - you will look like this:

"This submission comes all the way from Romania, proving that yes, they are all gymnasts."
From Awkward Family Photos

Well, actually you look significantly
amazing than that guy, but you get my point.

So, I thought that maybe you who have 8 minutes and 13 seconds
on your hands to watch a fantastic example of when I
actually was coordinated and in-shape,
here you go.

Greek Week 2007
1st Place Lip Sync

If you have only 1 or 2 minutes and
yearn to see me dazzle the stage
(including a big misstep I took at 4:15),
I'm the one wearing purple in the first act.

Purple is a dazzling color, people.