Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping Myself Distracted

James deployed over two months ago now.  I have purposefully kept myself as busy as possible in hopes of distracting myself from missing him.  I feel that I've done a fairly good job of this so far even though there are times when I can't keep from having a little breakdown.  

When people ask how I'm doing since James left, I typically reply with "I'm fine, he'll be home before I know it".  I tell people this because if I really stop and think about it, I will end up in tears.  To be completely honest, I am doing fine and I do know that the time will fly by but there are still moments that are unavoidable, that I miss him so much and just wish I could hold him in my arms.  Last time James was gone for nine months total but at that time James and I weren't married and living together.  I knew this time would be different, going from spending every day together to none at all.  It amazes me that after 8 1/2 years, I still am able to love him more and more with every passing day.  I am so thankful James has the opportunity to call most nights and send Facebook messages, emails, and even Skype on occasion.  I don't know how couples dealt with only being able to send letters back and forth with no other avenue of communication.  

God has blessed me with friends and family who have helped me succeed with keeping busy.  I know I sound like a crazy cat lady when I say this but I also don't know what I would do without my cats, Smokie and Bandit.  It's crazy how they know when I am upset, and they comfort me.  Two nights ago I was crying and Bandit (our semi evil cat) licked the tears off my face and curled up with me all night long.    

This is Bandit, the semi evil cat.

I'm sitting here trying to think of the exciting things I have done since James left, the people and events that have kept me busy over the past two months.  Of course I was able to spend a lot of time with family throughout the holiday season.  There are five other things that come to mind.  

1.  My sister-in-law Emily and her husband Nathan just purchased a house so I got to help them paint a few rooms and move them in.  It's so exciting to see Emily, Nathan and Rosie in a house where they can expand their family one day.

2.  Tara taught me how to crochet.  I have wanted to learn how to do this for a long time but for some reason when I tried to learn the first time, years ago, I really struggled with just using one crochet hook rather than two knitting needles.  I was meaning for this hat to fit an adults head but you can see by the photo that it is meant for a child's head, so my little sister ended up with an extra Christmas gift. :-) Now I can check "learn to crochet" off my bucket list....I never said the crochet project had to turn out exactly as planned.


3.  I've always had a fascination with wanting to learn how to fix cars and wanting to learn the skill of carpentry.  The reason I haven't attempted either of these things before is that I don't want to break a nail....not because I'm a girly girl, just because I have to keep my nails nice for work.  This month, with my brother Jon, I learned how to replace a slave cylinder on an Eclipse.  It's amazing how something so small can stain your nails so badly.  It was worth it.  I will have to save carpentry for another day.

4.  I spent New Years Eve on Fourth Street in Louisville with my mom, dad, and brother Jon.  Even though it was killing me not to be with James that night, it was nice to be with my family.  It was the first New Years I spent with both of my parents together that I have any recollection of.  I just wish my older brother Joe could have been there as well....and Micki of course.  :-)   The street was packed and a live band was playing.  They even had a ball drop at midnight.  I would highly recommend New Years on Fourth Street. Just know that every bar is a $30 cover.... restaurants are free.


5.  I got my Concealed Carry License!  I went shooting several times, then took my classes with Jensine and Jamie at Woodhill Training which I would highly recommend.  They made the classes interesting.  I was expected something like drivers ed where you just sit and read from a book for 8 hours straight.  It was not like that at all.  They set you up in different scenarios where you are getting money out of an ATM when someone confronts you.  Sometimes you got attacked, sometimes he just asked for the time.  Every situation was different so it was interesting to see how everyone responded to the scenarios.  You also have to shoot 30 rounds at the class. Some of the people who attended had never shot before which meant that they needed a lot of help.  The shooting portion was very structured.  You had to load for first clip and wait for further instructions.  Once you shoot your first 10 rounds, you are asked to load your next clip.  Halfway through my second clip, the instructor asked me to run in place while shooting.  Still made every shot well within the target.  Jensine and Jamie did the same.

Now I just need to figure out what to do these next four months.  :-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

3 years, 1 month, 3 days

3 years, 1 month and 3 days ago (December 19, 2008) I added "Donate Hair" to my bucket list.  When I researched a little bit about the guidelines regarding donating, I had to work on a few specific problems.  

First of all, donations are not accepted if they have been bleached.  In January of 2008 my hair was extremely dark brown.  In spring of 2008 I bleached my hair back to blonde in preparation for our wedding day.  I realized at this point that this was going to take a while.

Second of all, when you tie all of your hair in a ponytail to cut it off, you have to be able to take at least 10 inches of hair.  Well, at this time my hair was about to my chin which didn't matter anyway because first I had to go through the process of growing out my natural hair color.   

3 years, 1 month and 3 days later....


Halfway through Rhonda sawing off my hair, I remembered I had forgotten to take a "before" photo.  Leave it to my wonderful reliable.

So Rhonda stopped mid chop to get a "before" photo.

And... After...

There were many times when it was so tempting to cut and color my hair over the past three years.  Two of those years I was working at a salon, so every day I would watch women leave the salon with fresh cuts and color.  Torture.  

In the end the polytail ended up being 12 inches long!

Next stop....highlights!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Precious Memories

I have contemplated starting a blog for a while now.  I mainly want to blog because I have a terrible memory and I don't want to forget all of life's precious moments.  

Up until this point I have captured the events of my life in journals and scrapbooks, two of my most prized worldly possessions.  A single photo can cause memories to flood back to my mind.  Opening my journal and reading a simple description of our afternoon walk in Paris can almost bring back the taste of crepes, the feeling of utter bliss as I stare into the eyes of the love of my life, the sound of two women having what sounds like a heated discussion in French just a few feet away.  It's amazing how just a few simple words can replenish memories that seemed ultimately lost and forgotten.

I've been asked the question many times "If your house were on fire and you could grab only three things, what would they be?"  First I would make sure my family is safe, including our two cats ("Smokie" and the "Bandit"). My other two things I would be sure to grab are definitely the scrapbooks and journals.  I have always had a deep fear of my house catching on fire because I am afraid that if I loose those two items, the memories are lost forever.  So I've been thinking, if I start a blog which contains both written memories and photos, this fear will not be lingering over me so heavily.

Thankfully I have a husband who is blessed with a wonderful memory and a gift with words (two things that are  absolutely not my strong suits).  Even though he has the ability to refresh my memory, I still like to keep a detailed description of moments that I want to remember and cherish.  No one can remember every single detail.

My little sister, Maira, is seven years old now.  There are so many hilarious things she has said over the years that I thought I would never be able to forget because they were so precious.  Lesson learned, write everything down.  I recorded very few of these responses over the years and I highly regret it.  As James and I are nearing the time to expand our family, I really want to make a habit of chronicling our lives.

After years of debating joining the world of blogging, I'm in!