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Monday, October 25, 2010

Pucker Up!

Last week was United Way week at Horace Mann Elementary. Our principal designated the counselor and related arts teachers to be in charge of the fundraiser. We wanted a fun and creative way to get the kids to bring in money. Our minds quickly decided that a contest was our best bet at getting kids to bring in their money. So, next we had to decide what the contest would be. With a little help from our principal, whose words were, "I will kiss a pig before I go in a dunk tank," we decided the person who raised the most money would do just that, kiss a pig.

Daily, we traveled the hallways in the morning going from class to class collecting money in three buckets... one with my picture on it, one with the counselor's picture on it, and one with the Principal's picture on it. And daily we heard several things from the students, "You're going to kiss a pig!!!", "You're my favorite, so I picked you!", and "You're my favorite, I would never pick you to kiss a pig!!"

Finally the day came... with over $130 accumulated in the bucket...

... I kissed the pig!!!

HOWEVER, our staff was "tricky" and added money to the counselor and Principal's buckets to even out the score (and somehow my bucket lost money) at $109 each. The counselor and a stand in for our principal (she was out of the building) were good sports and laid a big wet one on the pig as well. The students really got into it and we had fun encouraging them!

I am so proud of the students and staff at Horace Mann for contributing to such a good cause and sending more that $327 to the United Way!!! Way to go Huskies!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


... and it feels so good!!!

This past weekend I hopped on a plane and headed to Biloxi, Mississippi. I left Fort Wayne at 6:00 in the morning on Thursday and arrived in Biloxi at 11:00am knowing I would not be able to see Ross until 4:15ish. My thought was that I would head to my hotel, check in, and take a nap. That did not work out very well as I was not able to check in at the hotel until 4. So, there I was, in a town I had never been to with nothing to do. I had a lot of time to kill, so I grabbed some lunch (at perhaps the only Taco Bell that does not have grande soft tacos) and walked around the BX. After walking around for about 15 minutes I asked someone for a suggestion of something to do. Learning that my options were going to a casino or going to the mall, I opted for the mall. Upon arriving at the mall and taking a lap around, I decided that was not much fun either, as I packed just a carry on and did not have space to pack potential purchases. Thank goodness for the beach! I decided my best option for the remainder of the afternoon would be best spent walking the beach and taking pictures. Something I enjoy, but is not necessarily Ross's favorite activity.

I had a great time walking and snapping photos and before I knew it, it was 3:30. So, I headed back to my rental car and made my way back to base. At 4:00 I went and checked into my hotel... I will leave out the details about the hotel room, as it was perhaps the worst hotel room I have ever stayed in (coming equip with a SHARED bathroom). Finally, at 4:15, Ross called. I told him where I was and he met me at the hotel. After 14 weeks I was finally able to hug him!!!

Thursday evening Ross and I went to B Dubs with Newell, Stanko, and Bradford... Ross's usual crew. After B Dubs we went down to the beach with the guys to an old lighthouse and had a few beers. Then it was time to call it a night.

Friday we had breakfast in Ocean Springs, then went bowling. We decided to go bowling for just an hour, thankfully. With just two of us, we managed to play about 4 games, all of which Ross won. After bowling we called the guys and planned on going to The Shed for dinner. Boy were we impressed! This was the best pulled pork I have ever had!!! The building itself it a shack, but the food was fantastic!! After dinner, the guys asked us if we wanted to go bowling with them. Ha! Twice in one day at two different locations! This time, however, I beat all the guys!!

Saturday Ross and I slept in then went to the Beau Revage for breakfast/lunch. Then we walked around the casino for a bit before calling the guys to see what they were up to. That afternoon, Ross, Bradford, and I drove to Gulfport to Jack and Diane's Tattoo Shop. I was the only one of the three of us who followed through and got a tattoo. Saturday night we grabbed a quick dinner at 5 Guys Hamburgers then went to a movie with the guys.

Sunday, we got up early and went to the hotel so I could request an extension on my room. "Unfortunately", the room I had been staying in was to be occupied that night so I would have to stay in a different room. Oh, darn... Before checking into the new room, we went and played Putt-Putt. I beat Ross, fair and square! THANKFULLY, Sunday night I was able to stay in the Tyer House Hotel and had a wonderful room. That afternoon, before Ross had to be back at the squadron, we just hung out at the hotel and watched a movie.... and took a nap.

Monday morning I was up early to get back to the airport and catch my flight home. It was great meeting the guys Ross spends his free time with. I don't worry about the people he selects as friends, as he is a good judge of character, but it does help to meet his friends if for nothing else to have a face to put with the names.

I am looking forward to going back to Mississippi in 33 days and spending Thanksgiving with Ross.

More to come....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have been wanting to do a post like this for a while, just have not gotten around to doing it. Below you will find some pictures I downloaded off of my phone. Some are meaningful, most are just random. Enjoy!!

This is my cousin, Josh and me. As a family, we spent a day at my grandparent's house cleaning outside and inside. Josh and I took on the task of washing the outside of the windows after being voluntold by my Mom (Love you, Mom!!).

I took this one evening while watching tv. Fenway is usually not allowed on the furniture. He got lucky this evening so I snapped a photo and sent it off to Ross.

This flag flies out by the mall. In person, it is HUGE and perhaps the most beautiful flag I have ever seen.

I saw this van at a gas station on my way to school one morning. Who posts a sticker on their car like this?!?!?!

These girls are FANTASTIC! They are my WaWa's!

When I was in South Carolina I got up every morning to walk on the beach. One morning I wrote this, took the picture, and sent it to Ross. Love him!!

BEAN! This is perhaps my favorite little guy of all time! Can't wait to see what the future holds for him as he grows up!

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my life. Maybe I'll do another post like this sometime.

On the flip side, I leave for Mississippi in 8 days!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mississippi Bound!!!

That's right!! Three weeks from now I will be in Mississippi! I am beyond excited to take a few days and go see Ross!!

Right now, three weeks seems like a ways off, but then I think about the day Ross got his orders. His orders came exactly three weeks before he left... and those three weeks FLEW by! Perhaps those three weeks went so quickly because I didn't want Ross to leave... but I choose to think they went quickly because that's simply what time does.

I'm flying Delta, as I have for every trip I've taken in the past 6 months. The airline charges a $25 fee to check a bag, so in an effort to save $50, I'm planning on taking just a carry-on. Now, I'll be the first to say, I'm a great packer. For one vacation, I managed to get ten days worth of stuff in a suitcase most females can only get about five days worth of stuff in... but I'm nervous about packing for this trip. I'm only going to be gone for four days, but I'm already strategizing what, and how, to pack. I have never been to Mississippi or the Gulf Coast. I checked the average temperatures for the middle of October and according to, it should be around 85 during the day and 72 at night. So I'm thinking through what clothes I can pack that will allow plenty of space for all the other "female necessity" items required for getting ready in the mornings! I've always been a list person when it comes to packing. Who knows how many "clothing options" lists I'll have by the time I really pack! Ha!

I might need a bigger suitcase.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

I love them!

I spent this past weekend with my family in Kentucky. Everyone, except Ross, was there. It was so fun being all together!I couldn't help but wish Ross was with us though! I miss him! I cannot wait to go visit him and take little weekend trips with him once he gets home!!

I'm planning a trip down to Mississippi in October! Can't wait!!!!!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010


I've decided it's time for a change.

Don't get too excited. I'm starting small. Partly because I was raised Methodist and change isn't our thing, and partly because I just can't make up my mind.

I started with my blog. I decided the old background was just that... old. That was the original background I set up when I started this journey. It was time for a change.

Next comes Fenway. He's been eating the same puppy food since he was a wee little guy. He's over a year old now, so it's time to make the transition to "big boy" dog food. It's time for a change.

On to making my bed. I used to be really good at making my bed daily. Then Ross left. Once Ross left, I stopped making the bed every morning. I don't know why, but it feels so much better crawling into bed when it has been made. The sheets feel more fresh. I'm going to start making my bed daily again. It's time for a change.

Now for the biggest change. Getting up earlier. I need to start getting up early enough to eat a healthy breakfast at home instead of keeping a stash of poptarts in my desk at school. Sure, that's the easy option, but it's not the best option. It's time for a change.

Here comes the hard part... putting change into action.

Wish me luck.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

These Things I Know For Sure.....

... school has officially started - and I miss summer!
... my family pretty much owns my heart!
... I have a crazy, energetic and mischievous dog, but I love him!
... there are three fantastic girls I have grown to love tremendously! They are my WaWa's!
... wing night with the B Dubbs Crew is perhaps my favorite night of the week!
... I have found very few things that cannot be cured with a good girlfriend and a glass of wine.
... the state of South Carolina has a special place in my heart.
... my husband is my hero.
... being by myself is not my idea of a good time.
... photography is perhaps my favorite form of self expression.
... fireworks make me proud to be an American - they bring tears to my eyes.
... I live for opening day of football season and baseball season - and two hour delays.
... I proudly wear a KIA bracelet for an incredibly honorable soldier - I wish I could have met him.
... Jesus is one cool dude!
... Mega Smartie Lolly Pops are my favorite candy.
... the older I get, the more my Mom becomes my best friend.
... 108 days without my husband is 108 days TOO MANY!!
... my brother makes me one incredibly lucky sister!
... my job is the most rewarding career I could have chosen.
... I am blessed to still have all four of my grandparents.
... my dream as a child was to be as tall as my Uncle Dan (6'4") - today I'm thrilled to be a foot short of that dream!
... this life I am living is not always glamorous.
... with God ALL things are possible!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 92

Ross has been gone for 92 days. Can't wait for him to come home for Christmas!!! I still miss him as much as I did on May 4th. One day at a time....

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Week In Paradise

Ahh, vacation! Nothing says relaxation, to me, more than a week at the beach. Last week I was lucky enough to go spend an amazing week in South Carolina with my Aunt and Uncle. It was fantastic and I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have spent the week in paradise with such awesome people!

Our week held no agenda except for getting me to the airport for my flight home on Saturday. Our days were spent eating, laying out on the beach, splashing around in the ocean, floating in the pool, and eating some more. It was GREAT!

I got up in the mornings and walked the beach looking for shells, sand dollars, and viewing some of the most gorgeous sunrises I have ever seen. As I walked the beach listening to the waves and watching the sunrise, I found myself thinking (in disbelief) that there are people who can question God's existence. I will never understand that questioning. It is such an amazing world we live in and and amazing God who created it all.

My week in sun and relaxation was refreshing. My next trip... Mississippi.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lackland AFB

Finally! After 56 days my countdown ended!

One week ago I flew down to San Antonio, Texas and proudly watched as Ross graduated from Air Force BMT. I cannot describe the pride I felt while watching him receive his Air Force coin from his MTI! Wow!!

I am also incredibly proud of the person he has become. His confidence and character have grown tremendously! It is so awesome to see him so confident and social! Yes... I said social! It is obvious that others looked up to Ross while they were at BMT.

The guys who went through this program with him are also incredible. These guys have such an amazing bond. Ross, and the 48 other Airmen went to hell and back together to get to where they are now. I did not meet a single person whose intentions I questioned. Each Airman is unique in his own way, yet provides so much stability and strength to the group. I pray these are guys Ross is able to keep in touch with forever. They have become part of his family, and in turn, part of mine.

I am so thankful for Ross' MTI for instilling the qualities necessary for being an American Airman into my husband, and proud of each and every member of the 320th training squadron, flight 446 for all they have achieved... together!!!

And can I just say... It felt SO good to give Ross that first hug!!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010


I am finally updating this blog... I know, I know. It has been a long time. In my defense, my computer has a virus so I am kind of out of commission. Anyway... two weeks ago, I attemped to update via my phone, but it would not allow me to post my writing. So, here it is:

"Here I sit with two weeks until I get to see Ross! Some days have gone quickly, like people said they would, while others have slowly crept by as if mocking me for counting down the days. Nonetheless... 14 days to go.

This has truly been a roller coaster experience for me. There are days when I accept Ross being gone and simply remind myself of how many days remain until I get to see him. Yet there are other days where almost anything could make me cry and I feel all alone. Thankfully the lonely days are getting farther and farther apart.

As for letters... lets just say Thursday is my favorite day of the week right now. Ross is only able to mail letters on his way to church which puts them in my mailbox on Thursdays. Thus far I have a stack on 16 of the most incredible letters I have ever read.

I have also been fortunate enough to receive three (yes, THREE) phone calls from Ross. The first being nine minutes in length, the second being five minutes, and the most recent being 27 minutes in length!! I cannot describe the incredible joy I feel when I have answered the phone and Ross has been on the other end. Most importantly, I cannot express the overwhelming feeling of relief to hear that he is doing so well.

This week marks Ross's sixth week of training (or as I have learned they are referred to as WOT). He is currently at BEAST, a week long mock deployment. From what I have heard, when looking back on the experience at Lackland Air Force Base, most Airmen will tell you BEAST was their favorite part of training. I am excited to see what Ross thinks. He has been voted to be the Tactical Deployment Leader for Flight 446 which means during his mock deployment... he is in charge. What a huge honor yet responsibility at the same time! I am so proud of him!!!

His 7 WOT holds classes on Air Force history and rank responsibilities. Finally week 8 will be spent practicing for graduation and graduating. If all goes well Trainees are issued 3 day long passes! I am looking forward to seeing the city of San Antonio, but mostly, I am looking forward to reaching zero on my countdown!"

That was two weeks ago. Today... the countdown is down to 2! I leave tomorrow morning for San Antonio! I am more than ready to see Ross!

I have gotten to talk with him one more time since I wrote the above entry. He called Saturday, June 19th and was able to talk for 30 minutes! During that time, I learned that his flight won BEAST excellence, meaning they did the best during their mock deployment!! GO ROSS!!!!

Also, I got a phone call the evening of Friday, June 25th from a United States Air Force Major and his wife, Melissa. At first I was nervous, thinking they were calling to let me know Ross had been punished or injured and would not graduate. This was not the case... they called to let me know they "had the privilege of having lunch with [my] husband" that afternoon. They both spoke of his character, work ethic, and said he mentioned me numerous times. It was great to hear! I asked why he was able to go to their home and have lunch with them. Melissa told me her husband was taking a class where one of the requirements is that he attend a BMT graduation. He then tours a dorm and a trainee is selected to have lunch with him. I replied, "Oh... neat!!" to which Melissa responded, "Ashley, I'm not sure you understand." At this point I was thinking, "okay... what's not to get, Ross had lunch with the Major." Melissa then said, "Your husband was hand selected to come to our home and have lunch with us. I'm not sure what he is doing, but he is doing it right, and he is doing it well. Higher up selected him to have lunch with us." Okay, now I got it! I expressed my thanks to she and her husband for calling.

My heart is so full of pride and respect for what Ross has accomplished! Now... I'm off to Texas in the morning to FINALLY give him the hug he so greatly deserves!!

More to come....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, Ross! I love and miss you!! See you in 28 days!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Last Thursday I went to the mailbox, as I do everyday, hoping there would be something inside written in Ross's handwriting. This time... there was! I received three letters from Ross... on our anniversary nonetheless!

From the letters, he seems to be doing well. He referenced several times that church is the most enjoyable time for him right now. As he said, "it's a place where I do not have to march or seen an instructor. The only requirements is that you show a smile before entering the building." I am so glad he has that outlet right now. What a belessing!

Ross also said he is the laundry chief for his dorm. He says it is busy but a quiet place where he can study; stressful, yet rexaling all at the same time. I'm hoping he will have developed a love for doing laundry by the time he gets home! I asked in a letter if he has solved the lifelong mystery of "how DO you fold a fitted sheet?"

Today marks the beginning of week three. This week, Ross will be learning combat medical skills. He will learn skills to potentially save the life of a fellow Airman should the need ever arises. In a letter he said he is excited for this week.

As for me, I am doing pretty well. I have five days of school left. My last day of school marks the halfway point. Bring it on! June 30 cannot get here fast enough!!!!!

36 days!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

43 days!

Two weeks down... Six and a half to go!!!!

This Thursday is our anniversary. Every year, Ross and I go to Biaggi's for our anniversary dinner. This year, I'm going with my friend, Ashly. I figured it would look a little silly for me to sit and have my anniversary dinner by myself... so she and I are getting all dolled up and going to dinner! Can't wait!

More to come...

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's The Weekend

While I usually love the weekends and the ability to sleep in and get stuff done around the house, I am finding myself dreading them right now. Weekends have gone from my relaxation time, to my most stressful time. During the weekend, I find myself constantly thinking about Ross being gone. These are the days when I do not have work to distract my thoughts. I simply spend the days at home, missing Ross.

My brother-in-law, Reed, has been such a blessing during this. He has made a conscience effort to hang out with me everyday. I do not know what I would do without him. I was asked today if I am afraid living by myself. I quickly replied that I do not have to live by myself right now. Thank goodness!

I know Reed will not always live with us, but right now, I am sure thankful that he does. I would be FAR more lonely than I am if it weren't for Reed! Thank you God for blessing me abundantly and for granting Reed the patience and willingness to live with us.

Thankfully, my weekends could be far worse!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Week Down!

Ross left one week ago today. This week has been full of ups and downs. My feelings come and go... the desire to cry comes and goes... the desire to hang out with friends comes and goes. This has been hard, there is no doubt about it. But I have to keep pressing on. Just seven more Mondays then I get to see Ross! I cannot wait!

Last night, Reed, Ryan, and I went to the Komets game. It was game two of the Turner Cup Finals. I was able to get us seats in row 6 and was really excited about... Until we got there and discovered they were at the wrong end. We were at the end where the Komets shoot once, as opposed to the end where the Komets shoot twice. Oh well. We had good seats and a great view of our end of the ice.

As we sat there watching the game, and cheering for the Komets (who won and are up 2-0 in the series), I found myself not thinking so much about the fact that Ross is gone. Sure, I thought about him a lot, but it did not consume me. There were a few time when the thought of Ross would pop into my mind and I would think to myself, "Huh... I'm having fun." Part of me was thrilled to be out having a good time, but part of me felt guilty for having fun without Ross. I know he wants me to go to hockey games and do things I enjoy, but I couldn't help but feel slightly guilty for having fun.

I think as time goes on, I will begin feeling less and less guilty for going out and having fun. Like I said, I know Ross wants me to do things I enjoy. I can only imagine the disappointment he would have if, when he got home, he discovered I did not allow myself to have fun. I need to keep that in mind and allow myself to go be with friends and to do fun things.

50 days...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Perfect Timing...

3 days down....

Over the course of the last three days, I have had the thought of one particular woman I briefly talked to at the airport go through my head over and over and over again. I know nothing about this lady. I don't know where she is from or where she was going. All I know is that she touched my life.

Just after having said "see you later" to Ross, I went and sat in a chair waiting for, and dreading the moment when his plane would take off. At that very moment I felt lost and all alone. The only thing I could do was look out the window and think about how my entire world sat on that aircraft.

Just at that moment the woman sitting across from me looked up, smiled the most sincere smile, and said, "From one of the 97% of Americans who are not in the military, thank you." This was the most touching thing I could have heard at that moment. Like I said, I know nothing about this woman and will, more than likely, never see her again, but the support she gave me those first few moments after Ross boarded the plane is something I will never forget.

I am continually amazed at the way God puts people in my life at just the right time, for just the right reason. There I sat, alone and scared, and God sent this woman just to let me know things will be okay. I am not alone.

I can do this.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I work with some pretty incredible people! I got to school today, not sure of what the day would bring. As I entered the gym and approached my office door I found what is pictured above. Two of my amazing friends did this for me! Of course, that brought tears. Not tears of sadness as much as tears of overwhelming thankfulness for these people. Just at that moment, one of my very good friends came into the gym to see how I was doing today. With tears in my eye all I could do was look at her and say, "I wasn't supposed to cry today..." These two friends of mine made the giant Hershey's kiss and also put a bag of Kisses on my door handle with one Kiss for each day he will be gone (they put 60 Kisses in the bag knowing I would need more than one piece of chocolate today). Let the countdown begin! I ate four Hershey Kisses this morning. One a day, and I'll get to see Ross.


During my second grade class, one of my friends came in and asked me to come to the office when my class left. I agreed, not thinking anything of it. When I got to the office, I saw ten of my co-workers along with my principal and these gorgeous flowers. I instantly sat down and had tears in my eyes. Again, they were not tears of sadness as much as tears of overwhelming thankfulness for these people. I got up and hugged each of them, thanking them for the flowers, as well as their support.

I don't know what I would do without these people. I never imagined I would be absolutely showered with supportive cards, hugs, and words as I entered this journey.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to each of you who have scooped me up. You will never know how much it is appreciated. I just wish I could share these awesome gestures with Ross... 56 days.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Deployment Day

I am not an overly private person, however, posting a blog from my personal journal is not something I have ever done... until tonight. Today was, hands down, the hardest day I have had to face. When I got home tonight I sat down and started writing in my journal. Below you will find the entry:

"Deployment day. I know with each passing day this will get easier, but right now it does not feel that way. I want to cry. I want to break down and have a good, hard cry. Sure, there have been tears, but I want that good, hard cry to get it all out. I feel like I can't though. Ross can't cry where he is, so I feel like I shouldn't here. Ross has to be strong so I feel like I should be too.

56 days.

I can do this. I have an awesome family and incredible friends. I can do this.

I have an outlet. Running and writing will be my outlet. San Antonio is 1,304 miles away. I will run to Ross (with my conversion). I will run 163 miles before I see Ross in 56 days. I will write, to Ross and in my journal. I will write my thoughts and my feelings. I will take my journal with me everywhere I go so I can write as it comes.

I will be thankful. Thankful for Reed who is living with me. Thankful that I am not alone. I will be thankful for my Mom, Dad, and Brother who would drop everything to be with me and support me. I will be thankful for Bill and Marti who will also be part of my support team. I will be thankful for friends who will keep me busy. I AM thankful for a faithful and loving God who will NEVER give me more than I can handle. I am thankful for Fenway who, although he has eaten cords, drywall, baseboards, toilet paper, and (recently) carpet, will be my buddy and companion. Mostly, I am thankful for a husband who is so willing to serve when others are not. I am thankful for his courage and dedication to our country and his willingness to be and American Airman.

But, today, I miss him. 56 days."

So, there it is. That's exactly how I feel.

I'm off to bed soon. Tomorrow brings a day at school with what I'm sure will be a lot of questions to answer. I also plan to start my "Run to Texas". More to come...

Monday, May 3, 2010


The day I have been excited for/dreading is a mere hours away. Less than twenty-four hours from now I will have given (for now) that final hug and kiss to Ross and he will be on a plane headed towards San Antonio. I am excited for him and all the things he will get to do and experience while he is gone. However, I dread this day because it will be the first time Ross and I will be apart for more than just a couple days.

I will, undoubtedly, have good days and not-so-good days, but this lifestyle was a choice we made. We knew last year when Ross signed the papers that this was not going to be an easy road to travel. We knew there would be times, either a few days or several months, when Ross would be away from home and I would be on my own. The first few days will certainly be the hardest. Ross and I sat together and watched a series of eight short videos about Basic Training and what they will do each week. I think mentally, once Ross gets through the initial two weeks, my mind will be at ease. From the videos, there seems to be a lot of yelling during those first few weeks.

I truly believe every experience will make a person stronger! More to come.....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Buddy

As soon as Ross and I got married, we decided we would have a dog, someday. Last fall we decided there was no better time than the present to get a puppy. We wanted Ross to have time to get to know the dog (and the dog to get to know him) before he has to leave, but primarily we wanted to get a dog that would be my "buddy" while Ross is gone. So I began searching online for puppies. Ross wanted a big dog while I wanted a medium size dog. We found and fell in love with a Golden doodle pup, full of personality.

Meet Fenway!

He's crazy energetic, has chewed a cord or two, chewed on the baseboard at the top of the stairs, and eaten a full roll of toilet paper... but we love him! With each passing week he grows more and more out of his puppy mischief stage and becomes more and more a part of our little family.

He's very protective of me when Ross is not home - like my own little curly bodyguard, and I am blessed to have him as my buddy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ready Or Not... Here It Comes.

Ross leaves one week from today. Seven days. Am I ready? I have to be, he's going regardless. Right now, the thing that stresses me out the most is having time to see everyone before Ross leaves. It is important to him (and me) that he sees everyone he wants to as well as spending time with our families before he goes. Here is the run down of our week:

Sunday: had a get-together with our LIFE group from church (thank you Mutton's for hosting!)
Today: we are going to Warren to see my grandparents then hitting up the Tin Caps game with Derek
Wednesday: ERRANDS! We have to buy the things on Ross's "stuff to pack" list
Thursday through Saturday: Ross will be in Indy and Terre Haute out-processing.
Sunday: lunch with my family and grandparents
Monday (or Saturday): spending the evening with Ross's family
Tuesday: "D" day

This past Saturday we hosted a poker party and cookout as kind of a going away party for Ross. It was a good time, even though the weather did not cooperate. I sure am grateful for the group of friends we have! They will be an incredible support system, along with our LIFE group while Ross is away!

My friends at school keep asking me how I am doing. Truthfully, I am great. Next week may produce a different answer, but right now, I am fantastic! Just trying to enjoy these next seven days to their full potential!

More to come...

Friday, April 16, 2010

They own my heart

Family. I love mine! They pretty much own my heart! I am extremely fortunate to still have all four of my grandparents. I know this is rare and have never taken it for granted, these past two weeks especially.

Last week was my spring break. I spent the first three days of that week with my Dad's parents preparing and packing my Grandma to move into an Alzheimer's assisted living facility. For the past year, my Grandpa has been her primary care giver. This was awesome! However, because my Grandma had began "wondering" the time became necessary to move her into an environment where she will be safe. It was a tough transition for her, as well as for my Grandpa. Encouragingly, after a few days in her new environment my Grandma told us, "These people are really nice. This isn't as bad as I thought it would be." GREAT news for all to hear!

That week was undoubtedly stressful, and with a serious of small things with siblings and a friend (which alone were not a big deal, but, considering the week, seemed to have a magnified stress level), I was more than ready to get back to school and a "normal" routine.

Then Sunday night came.

I got a call around 10pm telling me that my Grandpa (yes, same family) was in the hospital. He had driven himself with a rapid heart rate and abdominal pains. I found myself lying in bed thinking, "Seriously, God! What more are you going to throw at me?"

Monday came and the initial diagnosis was that my Grandpa had had a heart attack and needed his gall bladder removed. However, Monday, the story was different. When asked by my Dad how Grandpa's heart was, nurses said it is fine. Then Tuesday they performed an Endoscopy and found nothing serious, so Wednesday they did a Colonoscopy and found cancer. I cannot say I was surprised as my Grandpa is not one to have regular check-ups on things like his colon.

Today, my Grandpa had surgery. I thought they were going to remove part of his colon, but that did not happen. They removed his gall bladder, and will do his colon surgery, hopefully, in a few days.

I am ashamed to say, it has been a while since I have spent as much time in prayer as I have these past two weeks. I pray daily, but these past two weeks I never quit praying. I know God will never give me anything I cannot handle, but that does not make weeks like these any easier. I am trusting God and His plan for not only MY life, but also the lives of my family members. This is not easy to do right now, but I know it is the only way. Now I find myself thinking maybe this was God's way of getting me back on track. After all He does work in mysterious ways!

I'm off to the assisted living facility to see Grandma! Then it's up to the hospital to see Grandpa!

More to come...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's official...

Here it is, Ross's deployment is officially set for May 4th... 20 days away. How do I feel about this? GREAT!! He's still here! Ask me in 20 days and my answer might be different, but right now, it's super! Truthfully, I am excited for him! I think he will have a blast on this journey and I cannot wait to visit him in Texas, Mississippi, and Florida!! Hey, if he's going to be there, I might as well get some vacations in too, right?

We have a busy few weeks before he leaves spending time with family and friends. This weekend we're off to Detroit to see Ross's college friends. Should be a great time with incredible people!!

More to come....