Wednesday, July 31, 2013

From February

Right now my husband is downstairs packing. Every time he is not in the room with me I feel a sense of panic as if we are wasting precious time. I want to look at him constantly. I want to be able to reach out and always have him there to hold my hand. If he isn't there I worry it is time lost that we will never get back.
But all of this panic is silent, within me. I want to make this last week happy. I want to act completely normal. I am constantly praying for strength to make it through all of this. For peace of mind. I pray to find the joy in what seems like the end of my world.
Bryce is always reminding me that women do this all the time, that they've been doing it for years and years. That at least this is only a year. At least he is going somewhere safe. I read testimonials all the time of wives giving birth while their husbands are away. Of fathers meeting their baby when they are months old.
But nothing makes it easier. I fight myself away from thinking how unfair this is. How unfair it is that he will most likely miss his daughter's birth. That I won't have him as support all those sleepless nights. That I won't have him as a partner in this journey of new parenthood. How unfair it is that he will miss her first giggles, the first time she rolls over, the first time she crawls, her first christmas.

Thoughts on deployment

The good thing about your child being a baby during your husband's deployment is she doesn't notice when you break down crying in the middle of playing with her. In fact she continues to gurgle and coo and laugh which helps to dry the tears more quickly.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Today is a perfect day. The real life perfect kind of day. I wish you were here. It's a beautiful day outside. Finally not sweltering hot, and not chilly like it has been earlier in the week. It's perfect. I have the windows open, letting in the light and the breeze. The music is playing and I've been dancing around the kitchen.
Finally. Finally able to move about without pain. Finally have the energy to twirl around the apartment. I wish you were here to dance with me.
My belly is perfectly round today. Our little one's kicking can finally be detected from the outside. Although, our tricky little girl always stops moving as soon as a hand is placed on my belly. Perhaps she likes the extra warmth? I wish you were here to feel her today, to talk to her and coax her to respond.
I slipped my moccasins on for the first time in a year. I love those moccasins, a staple from college. I have a feeling they will again become a staple over the next few months. I am already having difficulty bending to put my shoes on, and you won't be here to slip on and force off my beautiful boots. Those will have to be saved for next year.
As I walked out to take the trash out (I'm cleaning you know, on my perfect day, I clean) I felt an urge to take a walk. But I wouldn't know where to go. I haven't been able to explore our new home, so tired, so much pain, since we moved in. You have. You told me once about a trail nearby you want to take me on. But not where. I wish you were here to take me on the trail.
The endless pavement around me makes me ache for Vermont. In Vermont you do not need to drive anywhere to go for a walk. You just walk out your door, and there you are, immersed in nature.
I am so thankful that Ellie and I will be able to spend the summer there. That she will be able to lay with me on the grass, soak in the mild sun, and enjoy the laughter of the trees. I wish you could be there to watch the stars with us.

I am happy today. I feel fulfilled. I have crocheted many rows on little Ellie's blanket. I've baked Pumpkin Bread to bring to your uncle's house. I've danced and I've sang and I've laughed at the gentle nudges in my belly.
It is a perfect day. But you are not here. Oh how I wish you were here.

Friday, March 30, 2012


I wiped the blackberry juice off on my bare leg and watched it leave a deep purple mark. It reminded me of home. Blackberry stained and scratched as I stumbled through a thorny patch to get the biggest, juiciest fruit. The prize fruit the bears won't even venture toward for fear of the brambles. But I don't care. I know how good they taste. I emerge grinning with blackberry teeth and arms trickling with blood. Victorious.

What a memory. I memory that cannot be placed in any time. A memory that encompasses my childhood. A memory that could be placed in the summer I was twenty one just as soon as it could be from my fifth summer. It is a memory that goes along with bare, blackened, calloused feet. With brambles caught up in my ever tangled hair. With climbing through hay lofts and dropping down through trap doors into a burly old pony's stall. It slides through my memory hand in hand with dusty dirt roads and dandelion puffs and playing hide and seek in the piles of white, wrapped hay bales.

It is a memory of home, happiness, childhood, and innocence. It is a memory of summer.

But it is not summer. I am not home. I wipe my stained fingers onto my tanned, exposed legs on a March evening in Texas.

On an evening I'm missing home.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A letter from Pilot

Eight months ago I wrote this letter to a man I had just met. Two months later I showed the man the letter as we were curled up together on his couch. I was nervous. Nervous to show him that just a couple weeks after we met I was head over heels. Nervous to introduce him to Believe You Me because it was opening a door to my past. But I wanted him to know all of me.
A week later he surprised me with a letter of his own.... (If you haven't read the letter I wrote, go and do that first, otherwise some of the things he says won't make sense!)

 Dear Annie,
Thanks to you I can put into words how I feel about you. When I say your name my stomach somersaults. When someone asks me if I've met anyone here I immediately think of you and smile. I plan events around you and don't want to go anywhere without you. I have a list of things I want to do with you, and trips to take with you. You were so far beyond the bar I set that I never even considered you anything but perfect. I want to be the best person I can be around you and I AM a better person with you in my life.
     Annie, I like you because you are independent and adventurous. I like you because despite your independence you desire someone, some man, by your side. I like you because of your deep passion for learning and teaching. I like your love of children. But most of all, I like you because I LOVE YOU ANNIE, all of you!
   I too let my imagination run and think too far ahead, but suddenly it doesn't scare me. I am comfortable looking past tonight's events, in telling the guys I actually have plans this weekend, in telling people I am going up north for the holidays. Time will only tell if it is true that I am meant for you, you were meant for me, and we are meant for each other. However, you are not just a girl; you are THE GIRL. You flirt just the right amount. You don't scare me away; you make me want to be closer to you. I can't tell you if you're not ready to meet the man you're meant to be with, but I can tell you that I am that man then you seem more than ready, and I am ready. The life you lived before has made you who you are now, and who you are now is the girl I love. I only hope that I can live up to the man you built me up to be. You are not just a girl from Vermont; you are THE GIRL, the woman, from Vermont. 
  Annie, I want to take you flying off into the sunset! I can't put down my phone because I want to text you every corny joke I think of and I wait for your next text; I want to call you every time something good happens. I think of you when I need a happy thought, and when I'm already happy I still think of you. I don't know if they are butterflies, but the way I feel when I hear your voice is indescribable. You are the first girl I have truly been excited for my family and friends to meet. I want to take you to Italy, kiss you under the Eiffel Tower, get lost with you in Big Bend, be uncomfortable on 12 hour flights in coach class with you, and fill scrap books of pictures with us on our many adventures. 
  I may ask you how you have done this to me, the boy with so many walls, with insecurities, with a desire for freedom that gets in the way of relationships, but you made it so easy for me to realize the priorities that truly make a man a MAN. It's not the money, or the job, or the car. No, it's the way you love, the way you care for the people, the person, the woman that loves you that truly matters. Don't be nervous, don't be quiet, don't move slowly, but don't move too fast. Most of all don't worry because I have fallen for you. I hope the affect I have on you is one you love and I hope it doesn't stop. 

I'm yours, head over heels and absolutely not confused, forever,

The Pilot

Last Sunday he asked me to marry him.
We are going to Italy for our honeymoon.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This is only the beginning

Waiting for Pilot to get home is absolutely agonizing. And this is only the beginning. 
I don't know how many times I've exclaimed "I hate the army!" And this is only the beginning.
The uncertainty, the never being able to make solid plans. The "let's buy these tickets and if I'm not here, you can take a friend." plans. And this is only the beginning. 

But it is the waiting that gets me. The day of. The he has been gone all week, for three weeks, for months. And today he will come home. Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe it will rain. Maybe the helicopter will need maintenance. Maybe someone will call and say he's needed just one week more.
And this is only the beginning.

Six months ago I looked at the life ahead of me and I had to make a decision. Do I let myself fall in love with this handsome, kind, goofy, faith filled gentleman who could leave at a moment's notice and be gone for months? Everything about him is so perfect for me, we match up as if we were made for each other. Except, there was this one detail. One tiny detail. One enormous detail.

He is a soldier.

There was the question, could I be a soldier's wife? Could I be an Army Wife?

I struggled with the question for months. But every day I fell more in love. Every day it became more apparent, more obvious; I could never live without him. Even if, at times, I could only have him through email and the occasional phone call, he needed to be in my life. Forever. And this is only the beginning.

It is not going to be easy. I know it will not be easy. These six months have not been easy. The last few weeks I have whispered, I feel like I'm always missing you. And to my mother I've let myself cry, I'm going to be missing him our whole lives. And this is only the beginning

The ever loving, never wanting me to suffer mother asks, Are you sure? Is this really what you want? Can you really handle this?

But I know. I have no choice. He is my love. He will always be my love. I have known it from the day we met. We were always meant to be.  And this is only the beginning.

And so I will wait. Wait forever if I have to. I will get up, make my coffee, scramble some eggs, do my laundry, clean the house. And hope. And pray. Pray that the helicopter will fly. That the phone will not ring. Pray that he will be home before dinner.

Because This is only the beginning.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Pilot was rushing through the streets as I meandered along. His hand extended behind him as he attempted to pull me forward, faster.
"Why are you rushing? We have all night." I demanded exasperated; finally annoyed with being jerked along.
"But I had planned to be here hours ago, you have to see everything."
"I am trying to see everything but you keep pulling me past! I've never been here before and I'm sure we'll be here many times again so lets just walk and see what we can see. I don't care about seeing everything in the city I just want to enjoy my time with you, so stop rushing ahead!"
As I heard myself utter that last sentence I stopped and laughed at myself. I better take my own advice. Enjoy our time together, stop rushing ahead.

I'm not very good at living in the present. If life is pear shaped and dreary I think back to the summer I was eight. No student loans to pay off, no cars breaking down right before rent is due, no crazy stalker boyfriend hovering around the edges of my life. Just hay bales and dandelions and finally getting to perform in the Children's Theater down the road.
When life is full of butterflies and daisies and a handsome boyfriend who may someday be my husband all I can think of is the future. I daydream about baby names and picket fences. Everything I see is either perfect for my wedding or makes me think of a new idea for our new home. Neighborhoods are no longer just houses and people, they are communities, school districts. In my head I am calculating the distance between our jobs and our potential new home.
The Pilot gets frustrated with me often. Why can't I just live in the moment? Why can't I appreciate the beginning? Why am I in a rush to the end?

The world is telling me to slow down, to calm down, to relax. A fortune cookie while having lunch with my love, a lunch in which I complained that I couldn't wait any longer to start, simply stated: Rome was not built in a day. Be patient. A few weeks later my horoscope, something I never actually read, told me to calm down and take my time.

The beginning of a relationship is always so exciting, so charged with energy. The first few months after you fall in love, you are on a cloud. But I am trying to fly this cloud like a jet and get to the sunset. I need to stop and enjoy the butterflies, the impromptu slow dancing in the kitchen. I need to appreciate his small gestures and the warm looks I receive when I'm doing something silly. Because if I stop and just focus on the now, ingrain these memories into our lives, maybe these small perfect things will never stop.