Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I thought something was wrong...

Well it's been quite a week and I believe another "quite a week" is about to begin. It pretty much started with a meltdown in the Honolulu customs line today. The fact that my husband is gone for seven months culminated right there! I was doing so well all week with the distraction of having my parents in Guam but I think I remembered that Colin and I spent a small part of our honeymoon in Hawaii and it all came apart. :( I was wondering why I was handling our first deployment so well (I hadn't even cried once!) and I guess it was just due time for a good cry. As a result the whole airport got to see my teary eyed, tomato colored face as I tried to gain some composure and look like a normal human being again. To make it worse, I saw my friend Jack from church and I think he's probably assuming I'm nuts by now although a lady doing upside down yoga poses by baggage claim (no joke, I guess she doesn't like constricting plane travel much) passed me a tissue out of sympathy, what a gal.

So the folks and I are in Kona, Hawaii for the week. Our good friend Karen Martinez has loaned us her vacation home and I must say it's just beautiful. I hope I can get past some of my sad moments and enjoy the next few days on this gorgeous island, it would certainly be a waste not to!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moving on & preparing for a visit from the rents!

So I'm on my fourth day since Colin left, not bad! I can't lie, it's been lonely without having him here. I'm not surprised to find the hardest part about this is not seeing him bound through the front door after work every day. It's like this: I see him pull up in front and I get all giddy to see him but I get busy and pretend to not expect him (how dorky would that be?). Then he whips open the door real fast and pulls off his hat as he steps through the door. Cheddar bounds to the door and sits in front of him for a pet. If only he were to recite "Honey, I'm home!" I'd think we were in Leave it to Beaverland! I know it's dorky but it's something I love about my husband and look forward to when he's home! 

I finally did hear from the man yesterday. He was able to email me through a friend's account and let me know he made it, whew! Once he gets settled out there I'm sure I'll hear more from him on a regular basis, can't wait!

My mom and dad are arriving from Hawaii tonight. I'm very excited to see them again, some much needed distraction is on order. Considering it's monsoon season and we almost got hit with an almost typhoon this week, we'll have to be creative with our activities. On tap for now are a snorkeling trip, WW2 museum trip, a visit to the squadron and a pizza party a'la Jim. My dad loves to make pizza and always does when he visits his daughters. It's hard to get good pizza on the island so I already have a few friends lined up for a slice or two on Friday! 


Cheddar and I making our sad "I miss Colin" faces. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tough Goodbyes

Quick post as I'm waiting for my kitchen floor to dry! I said goodbye to my hubby last night as he boarded a plane for Kuwait. Funny, I was feeling pretty decent, not happy but decent as I headed home and joined my friends Andrea and Julie for wine and cookies. We chatted and ate, taking turns holding Andrea's baby. I decided that wine and cookies make everything better. In fact I was feeling pretty good until church when I got the first pang of sadness. I miss my man pretty bad right now, I hope he's arrived by now and getting settled. Here are some pictures from last night. I'll write more on everything later.

Mark saying goodbye to his boys.

The Klein Family (a very tearful Monica!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The packing continues!

More pictures from packing...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pretty sure our dog hates us...

This is what happens when you pack for Iraq!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Boonie Stompin'

So we did a boonie stomp yesterday. For those of you who aren't familiar with the local terminology, "boonie" refers to anything native to the island. "stomp" is used because you have to make your way through the jungle and well, the term just fits! We joined a group of air force friends for a hike to Pagat Cave. We had to push through some thick jungle along the way, slipped and sled down to the coastline. We stopped at this blowhole like cavern with a coral arch sitting over the top. Apparently this is a great swimming opportunity and since I was drenched in sweat, I was desperate! After a couple of guys took the plunge I decided to. Of course I had to sit on my butt and ponder it for awhile (it was waaaay deeper than it did from afar!) Since the jump was about 20 feet and the water depth was around 15 feet I knew it was safe but it was a long fall! But so refreshing! I was so proud of myself for taking the plunge (pun fully intended) and was rewarded with a crazy rock climb back up. Lesson learned: coral makes a great rock climbing surface, so grippable it almost sliced through my hands!  

After that dip we meandered back through the jungle and after a few wrong turns (I swear that jungle grew right over our path!) we arrived at the caves. It was so cool. Imagine the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland. If only we had that music, it would have been perfect! The water was cold (well, by Guam standards) but we were so hot it didn't matter! Luckily many brought water proof flashlights so we could find our way in! We lit candles all over the cave so we could see, it was so eerie but so cool! Cheddar came along and was so happy to cool off. After a brief swim she found a rock and set up camp. If she wanted a dip again she'd find someone facing away from her and then take a flying leap into the water behind them, fortunately she made several new friends yesterday!  

We were bummed to leave (especially since the hike back up was steep and rocky!) but pleased with our day's adventure. You know the feeling when you've been working hard all day and you get to sit down and relax (after a good shower)? That was definitely our day yesterday! We invited the Donnellys over for cobbler and wine, just another day in Guam!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Proposal!

So a special date that most people dont know about is today. I remember it vividly only because it was so surreal and bizarre. It is August 4th, the day Colin and I got engaged. One year ago. Most of you know last year was a rollercoaster. Most coworkers and friends found me to be insane, continuing to date this navy dude who lives in Guam ("Where the heck IS Guam??"). Not only did he live in this strange country but he also lived on a boat that floated all over the western Pacific Ocean flying VERTREP missions. I think once I tried to explain that term, they gave up all hope for me! So from January 2008 on I spent the year working and wondering when Id see my boyfriend again. It was exciting, nerve wracking and FRUSTRATING to all levels when youre counting on the Navy to let you see your loved one. Lesson One: The Navy doesnt care! Three months in I was given four days notice to buy a ticket to Guam and visit Colin who was in on a port call in Guam. It was so amazing to see him again. In eight months of dating, 2 months was a long time to be apart! My trip out here was a blast. I negotiated with my boss to work half the time I was out here so from 2am-10am I was on the computer working with my pals back on the West Coast (caffeine became my best friend). The rest of the time I was exploring the island with my boy and getting to know his friends and coworkers. After that I headed back not having any idea when Id see Colin again. So settling.  

After a work trip to Canada I was finally presented with an opportunity to fly to Guam for an unscheduled port call in late July. The months before I was on the edge wondering if Id meet the ship in Japan, Singapore or South Korea, it seemed to change its mind a lot. Imagine that? With five days notice Colin bought me a ticket to Guam (what a stud. He must have loved me, I was broke as day!). Just like four months prior, it was awesome to see his handsome, happy face again. Like before I negotiated to work during the second week of my trip. We had a great time only this time, I was pretty sure Colin was going to propose. At that point we both knew we wouldnt be hanging on like this if we werent thinking long term. So while the term propose never officially came up I knew there was a ring coming and we even talked about taking engagement pictures since well, when would we see each other again? We arranged to take them in the squadrons hangar in front of one of the helicopters. Our friend Twitchy offered to take photos which turned out surprisingly well, the guy has a way with cameras! It was a great day, all of us convened at Boss's house for dinner. Good times! If only that couldve lasted. 

Later that night, around 12:30 Colin got a call from Aaron, one of the pilots on his det. "Dude, sorry to tell you but were deploying at 0800, get packed." Colin had to ask him to tell him again to be sure he heard what he heard. I was half awake on the couch already knowing the call was not going well. Now most of you would probably think I was thinking "He's leaving?? But I dont leave for a week? Thats not fair!!". Actually I was thinking "He hasn't PROPOSED yet!!" I was already a little edgy wondering if he'd actually go through with it so this call did not settle my nerves. I already knew I'd go home disappointed. For the next two hours I quietly helped Colin pack his bag back up and get everything ready to head out the door at 6am. Neither of us could sleep, we were both pretty angry. Turns out the aircraft carrier sitting near the Philippines wanted to move up their meet-up date with Colins shipjust because. I was readily interested in meeting up with the ships CAPTAIN to give him my two cents but that was neither here nor there. So at 5:45am we got everything ready and I went out on the balcony to get Colin who was cleaning up the barbeque. He immediately pulled me into a hug, looked at me and got down on one knee. With the sun rising over the Pacific, I looked at him through groggy eyes as he reached in his flightsuit pocket for a ring. A wedding ring. Huh? Before he could say the magic words he explained that his dad had sent the ring out from Atlanta where he was having it set and it hadnt arrived yet. So he asked if the wedding band would do. Of course I said and after a kiss and a hug, we darted out the door. Over the next hour I kept glancing at the band on my finger, this was definitely NOT the scenario I dreamed up when I was seven! I guess God likes to surprise us sometimes.  

When we got to the squadron, the guys immediately looked at my left hand, apparently Colin had been driving them nuts about this pending engagement and they had all assumed it had better happened by now! With a quick kiss and hug, I said goodbye to my new fiance and left the squadron. This time Colin is leaving before me. I drove home in shock, still wondering what just happened. Lesson Two: The Navy LOVES to pull fast ones on you! I got home and too angry to sleep I returned a call to my parents who had called the day before. All I had to say was He left and they understood. I bawled for 20 minutes, just angry at the world. Here I had this beautiful wedding band on my finger but not the guy who gave it to me. You know how the best man always says "Welcome to the Navy/Marines Corps/Air Force Ma'am!" with a slap of the sword? I think I got that a little early. Ultimately I got through that week just fine. I mean I was stuck on an island after all. The pool and I got well acquainted and it was all good. Of course the ring came the afternoon after Colin left and my good friend Kristina (who he had it sent to just in case something like this would happen...man he is smart!) proposed to me with a gorgeous white gold 1.2 carat diamond ring. So romantic! So that's the story of us, one year later were happily married on that same island getting ready for another long 7 month separation. I LOVE the Navy.