Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Southern SnowDay

The Southern Snow Storm watch started Monday afternoon and it quickly turned into a warming by 2:30pm when I got back to work. By word of mouth we'd heard that several school districts had already canceled school for Tuesday. We were still sitting in limbo though waiting to see what district 1 was gonna do. The anticipation was killing everyone. 5 O'Clock rolled around and as I headed home we still hadn't heard weather or not we were canceling school for Tuesday. Watch the weather and I'll send out a text was what we heard. About 8pm that evening the call was made and school had been canceled and that  mint I got to have my very FIRST Snow Day. A Southern Snow Day at that. 
The hubbs still had to work, of course life as a Drill SGT. By 9:30-10:00am the entire posted issued a post wide shutdown. Only key essential personal was to continue with their day. I waited the morning out at home. Caught up with a few friends and did a bit of house work but I wasn't braving the roads. Around 2pm or so the hubbs was on his way home. I didn't see that one coming at all but I sure as heck wasn't complaining either. We spent the afternoon do a little randomness around town and went to lunch at Sandy's Hotdogs. I strongly dislike hotdogs but I like Sandy's for some reason. After a little sleet and a trip to the gun store we decided to call it a day and come home. We waited it out and still nothing. Weather forecast said the snow was suppose to start at 11am and here we were 6pm and they kept pushing it back. I'd given up, it wasn't gonna happen. About 8:30-9pm it STARTED there was officially snow on the ground and they had canceled school for Wednesday as well. I really didn't think it would stick or amount to anything seeings on Monday the temps got up to 67 degrees. We went to bed later that night and this is what our backyard looked like…….
….and this is what we woke up to the next morning. Hubbs still had to go to work earlier that morning, although he didn't have to be in till 7am it was still early. Because we live on post he had to go in earlier than everyone that lives off. 
I was kind enough to wake up at 6am and cook him breakfast before he left. German Sugar Pancakes courtesy of the fabulous Black Little Button they were so yummy and def. something we'd make again. 
It took the pups a few minutes to figure out the snow. Bailey realized it was cold on her little paws and didn't' wanna go out in the yard. She's so special sometimes but gosh we love her. 
I spent the morning chatting with a friend and finally got the nerve to get up and brave the cold snowy streets. No since in staying inside all day I suppose, I mean its not that often we get a Southern Snow Days. Right!! I bundled up as best I could and made out way out the door. At that point the pups didn't care about the cold, they were just happy to be outside. 
The snow covered fields and tree tops, were simply beautiful. There was still slush on the ground and parts of the streets frozen over but we managed just well. I was a bit nervous because the pups pull so hard when they go for a walk. I just knew I was going to fall right on my butt. Thankfully we managed just fine and made it up to our friend Sarah's house. 
There was one family at the dog park, I though about stopping on the way but didn't feel like fighting Bailey and another dog. 
Ft. Jackson and all its beauty. Oh I will NOT miss this place when we leave. 
We hung out and visited with Sarah and her two pups for a couple hours before heading back home. Its only about half a mile from my house to hers but when its cold outside it seem forever far away. On the way home we stopped by the soccer fields across from our neighborhood and I let them off their leash to run around a bit. They absolutely loved running around in the snow. 
These two sure do brighten my day and put a smile on my face. Even when Dingo does run straight at my and knocks me on my back in the cold snow, all while I'm trying to take a picture of him. We've been spending so much time together with out the hubbs at home, it was nice to get out of the house and run around and play with them. 
I made a few snowballs a would throw them and Dingo would try to chase after them. It was to funny because it would all fall apart mid air and he didn't understand it. I only wish the hubbs could have come out and joined in on the fun but duty calls and the PVT's need training. 
Finally heading back home after another hour of playing in the snow. These two were so tuckered out for the rest of the evening. 
Our Hawaiian pups finally got to experience their first snow day and I finally had my first Southern Snow day / School's closed for two days. It's def. been nice but next week when I actually have to work a full straight week of work, yeah that's gonna suck. I haven't worked a straight full week since before Christmas break bc of traveling / the cruise and then other holidays and now this. Its ok only one full week then a 3 day work week the following week ;) I can do it!!!! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Life on the Trail…..

Were do even start….It started out ruff….we got used to it….got into a routine….I got used to the hours…him being gone all day and night….never home on the weekends…but then I hit a wall…and I hit it hard. Him being deployed sucked to no end I'm not gonna lie, It was the worst time of our relationship so far. Although sometimes I almost think this is WORSE than a deployment. Yup I really just went there. Of course you don't have the constant worry, stress and "what if" moments that you do with a deployment but I really think Life on the Trail puts more strain on your relationship. We've been through more together in the past almost 8 years that we've been together than any average couple has been through in a life time. I wouldn't wish it on any one and I sure as hell don't want to live another day through it sometimes but I suck it up and put a smile on my face because I love that man with all my heart. And I do anything and go any were for him. It doesn't mean I'm not melting inside because I haven't spent more than 24 hours with my husband awake in the past week. I know I should be grateful that he is home and trust me I am but when he's home you expect him to be home. Yes there is extremely late hours and countless CQ days when it comes to being a Drill SGT. But when the BN says they are pushing for more family time and more time away from work during reset, yet you schedule countless training and regrouping exercises during every day of cycle break you are going back on every word you've just said. When you make a event mandatory to attend and spouses are invited yet we have to pay for tickets to go, doesn't help your plea any more.

Now don't get me wrong my hubbs is quick to offer a hand and stay late to help out his fellow battles when he see's they are needing help with one thing or the other. The only thing that kills me with that is they do NOT do the same for him. When their work day is over they are out and don't think twice about making sure everything is covered. I guess that is were my husband values his job and the people he works with more than others do. I just hate how he always goes above and beyond for others only for it to be over shadowed or gone unrecognized. I absolutely HATED the brown round when he first got it, I though it was the ugliest thing ever known to mankind. Over time my thoughts on it have changed and I think it quite attractive and will be so sad to see it go.
Him on the other hand not so much. He's amazing at his job and I'm not saying that just because I'm married to him but I've had countless Drill SGT's, PVT's CO's and Spouses come to me and tell me that. Hands down he's an amazing Drill SGT and makes a world of a difference in the lives of these young kids. But there's no doubt that he's ready to get back to a line unit. He's so tired of "training joe" aka Privates "America's Future". He wants to be trained, he wants to do field problems were he does the work and not direct what needs to be done. He wants to go to schools, he wants to go back to a line unit, he wants his squad leader time. He wants to deploy again. This is what he joined the army to do and he's not done doing that. Life on the Trail isn't for everyone that's for sure. Its been a experience that we can say we've been through but I wouldn't wish it on any one. People come here to go through the Trail to get some down time and let me tell you its so far from it. 
I miss my husband more than ever, we can never plan anything because thing are always changing around here with work. When he does have a day off here or there he's so tired the last thing he wants to do is go out. When he comes home from work at a decent time I get excited then remember he's been up since 3 or 4am and next thing you know we've had dinner and he's fast asleep on the couch. The only guaranteed time off is VBL- Victory Block Leave which is over Christmas. Don't bother making family vacations because your not gonna get the time off. He gets one 4 day weekend a cycle. That's every 10 weeks. Sometimes we plan something to do then but most of the time we just stay here local because he's so tired from work he just wants to hang out at home and relax. Of course I don't blame him one bit, I'd be doing the same thing if I worked his hours.
 Can you imagine the pay check if they got paid over time. HAHAHA Wishful thinking. Speaking of Pay did you know that a Recruiter gets paid more special duty pay than a Drill SGT does. Tell me how that makes any sense. February 13th he graduates his last cycle and we couldn't be more excited. Although we still have a few months left here after that he is most certainly counting/ Our upcoming move (more on that later) is definitely bitter sweet for many reasons. I go back and forth multiple times a day on my feelings about our move. Sometimes I'm ready for it and other times I'm hoping time creeps by. Its a daily struggle, but at the end of the night I CAN NOT wait for our next adventure and were its taking us. 
Life as a Army Wife Married to a US Soldier, current Drill Sergeant. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

GoodBye Miami!

We finally made it back to our room Sunday morning around 4am. For some reason we listened to Nanc when she told us it was already 5am. At that point we figure there was no reason in going to bed only to be up in about a hour to hour & half. So what did we do…downloaded all the pictures to my computer and looked through them. When I turned my laptop on we noticed it was only 4am so in reality we could get a couple extra hours of sleep then we though. We still looked through the pictures, talked about how much fun we'd had and how we couldn't believe it was over. We were all ready to be reunited with out loves but I would be lying if I said I wasn't sad that I was leaving the girls. Shortly after falling asleep our phones started going off with email and text message notification. That only means one thing we were back in cell range. We popped up and looked out the window as we were pulling into port. Bittersweet for sure, I was that much closer to my love but that much closer to saying see you later to my best friends. We managed to get a little bit of sleep before our wake up call came through and we were up packing our last minute things and heading to the 7th floor to get off the ship :(

Once we got in line we really didn't have to wait to long before we were off and making the trip to the airport to start our journey home. It worked out that we were all on the same flight out of Miami and the four of us girls split in Charlotte, NC. While in Miami we stopped for coffee and hot chocolate and look what the spouse had for us. Is she not the sweetest friend ever. Gosh I love her. I can't help but get a lump in my throat as I'm writing just thinking about how much I miss living in the same state. 
We tried to get all of our seats together but with a fully packed flight it just didn't work. Brandy was in the very front of the plane which worked out for her because she had very little time to make it to her connecting flight. The only down fall to that was the fact that we had to say our "See you Soon's" to her before we went back to our seats. Sarah was suppose to be in the VERY back but we were able to get our two seats together. Thank Goodness!!! Nancy was across the aisle one row ahead of us. So we were able to be close to her as well. Along with the most talkative two guys ever. Seriously from the moment we sat down they did not shut up, minus the 15 minutes they slept right after we took off. We did get a few good laughs out of them though and they made the flight go by quick. 
Before we knew it we were in Charlotte and heading our separate ways. The Spouse and I took a second to get one last picture and squeeze in before we parted. It never fails I ALWAYS choke up when our time together ends. She's my other half and I'd do anything for her. 
From here Nancy & Brandy had one more flight each and Sarah had two. I however just had to walk outside and there was my love!!!! I was so happy to be back in his arms. We headed to OTB (On The Border) for lunch and of course he had to stop at Base Pro before heading home. 

We've already starting talking / planning our next girls trip / get-together. Sarah and I will both be moving to different states SOON and so it gives us another opportunity to see more of the great USA. 
I love how the army allows us to travel around and meet up in different places. :)

A Girls Trip To Remember!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Country Cruising Day 7- At Sea

It was our last day at sea and our last day on the ship, tomorrow we are back in Miami. But of course we still had full day ahead of us. 
After the whole Trace Adkins ordeal, Flying Dutchmen (which is the supporting travel agency) had to quickly come up with a plan B for Saturday. Their solution was a poolside 14 hour all day music festival. It was the largest music fest put on at sea. Friday night the pool was drained and made in to a seating area, a stage was built and magic happened. Each of the remaining artist that were on board were given the chance to preform again. The music started at 11am and went well in to the night. Brandy and I got up earlier than the other two and went out to get seats so we were able to enjoy the day. 
We found a place right but the hot tub and the smaller pool. Only down fall was it was some what shaded. We considered moving but the view was great plus we had plenty of room to kinda spread out. 
We hung out here the entire day, went in and grabbed lunch and even brought it back out to the poolside to eat. It was a good bit chilly that day. After enjoying 80+ degree weather for the past 9 days we were cold. Thankfully we each had a long sleeve of some sorts to put on. The goosebumps were bad though. We tried keeping warm with our towels but it only helped a little. 
We sucked it up and waited it out till we saw the ever so amazing…...
Neil McCoy. 
Of course he didn't disappoint at all. He's so personal and caring. But watch out because he has jokes and is quick on his feet. He closed out the poolside session and then they moved it in side. The sun was setting and the temps were dropping. 
Blessed with the Best!!!! 
One of my favorite pictures of the three of us from the week. I can't wait for our next adventure together. 
After Neil played we headed to the room to shower and get ready for dinner. We wanted to have one last evening out together in the dining room just us girls. 
After dinner we headed to the main theater for the ending of the Music festival and then hung out while they had the jam session. It def. wasn't the same as when they had it in the Atrium but still a good time. 
Nancy and I, she's such a doll. Life wouldn't be as entertaining as it is with out her in it. Gotta love her!
We stopped in Bliss to hang out for a bit and see everyone one last time, after our late night / early morning horrible meal in the Atrium. It def. was bitter sweet saying goodbye to everyone not knowing when we'll see them again. Maybe next year, maybe sooner. I'm excited about our upcoming move (more on that later) because I'll get to see Bryan (above) preform a bit more. 
Joe (below) what can we say about him….he's such a sweet heart. He's gonna make a beautiful lady pretty happy one day. He is the perfect addition to Brandon and Leah, and I'm glad we got the chance to hang out and know him. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Country Cruising Day 6- Cozumel

We woke up not so bright and early, seemed to be a theme there. We grabbed some lunch and headed off the ship to enjoy the day in beautiful Cozumel. Forgive me but the area we went to just wasn't beautiful to me. As luck would have it we were walking off the ship and ran into the guys. Not that big of a deal really, we like Joe. Ben on the other hand, that's a little questionable. We were hoping for a girls day but how are you suppose to say no sorry you can't come with us. 
After much standing around and trying to figure out how the heck we were gonna get to the beach we agreed to get in a taxi and go. Not really knowing were we were going but heck I guess that's partly the fun in things sometimes right. 
We ended up at probably what we called the most touristy beach ever. Loads of people, inflatable blow up things and crappy lounge chairs. We saw a little sign of relief when we saw one of the bands from our ship at the same beach. Still it was a WTF moment of how did we end up here. 
We ordered a drink, lounged around a bit, took a dip in the ever so chilly water and worked on our tan. Before we knew it, it was creeping up on 5pm. Ship return time was 630 but we'd rather not cut it short. I'm not trying to get left here or anything. 
When we got back to the pier Nancy and Sarah though it would be fun to take a bike taxi back to the ship. Little did they know when they got on neither of them had anything less than a $20. So they talked me into getting on, in hopes I did. WRONG, that man got lucky that trip. I'm sure we were quite the sight riding back to the ship. 
Another towel animal just for Sarah, another one we couldn't really figure out what it was. 
After getting back to the room we showered, change and got ready for the evenings show. 
Lone Star was our last artist to preform in the main theater. Sadly no amount of alcohol could help us manage to sit through the entire thing. One of the guys (I forget his name) was sick so that had some to do with it but not much. We knew a couple of their songs but nothing to make us want to get up out of our chairs and start dancing. We bailed half way though. Sarah's mom and Aunts said the 2nd half was the best but we just couldn't make it past the first. 
We spent the evening hanging out in the Atrium listening to the jam sessions. This was were different band members got together and played. Wasn't always country music, in fact it hardly was. But it was a nice change of pace. It was a younger crowd of people and everyone let loose and had a good time. 
Ok this guy!!! Let me tell you, about him. He was on the cruise last year by himself (who does that), some how he found out I was from Texas and the rest was history. Total creeper / stocker guy. We always ran in to him all the time. No matter how much we tried avoiding him it just happened. And from the moment we saw him this year it was the same thing all over again. I know it sounds bad but really if you were there you'd get how awkward and uncomfortable he could make things at times. Well the 2nd or 3rd night he sat at the end of our row by Nancy, it took her a minute for it to register who he was and then it all clicked. 
We saw him in Bliss late in the evenings, even asked if we'd dance. This evening he was wearing this shirt he'd got in Cozumel……Sarah and Nanc though it was the funniest thing and had to get a picture with him. In turn they made me as well. I tried offering to take shots to avoid it but that didn't happen. Talk about a awkward moment. Lord help me!!! Later that evening when we were in Bliss Nancy pointed it out to someone and he told her she had to try it out if she liked it so much. FACE IN PALM. 
The Hawaiian Trio!!! Love these two!! 
Nancy and I hung out in Bliss a bit later that night talking with Carey and Brian. (loser dude ben in the middle blah!!!) They were always so sweet and fun to hang out with. They had to make sure we got down to our floor that evening or really that morning I should say, since we'd had a bit to drink. 
Perfect opportunity for a little cartwheel action in the hall way!!! 
No worries I'm 100% confident I can handle myself even when I've been drinking. (can't speak for others)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Country Cruising Day 5- Grand Cayman Island

The plan today was to take the tender to shore and go with Steve, Chris, Randy and Joe to get lunch. We wanted a nice sit down place that had good food. Nothing fancy but nothing fattening and greasy either. After checking out a couple different menus at a few local places our last resort was Margaritaville. 
The food was horrible, the service was ah…ok and the bill was insane over $300 for the 8 of us. Talk about craziness. Def. a waste of money, but we did have a good time so in the end it wasn't that bad. We had lunch and headed back to the ship, it was a short day in port and be time we actually got up and off the boat we really didn't have but about 3 hours. 
That evening Love and Theft played, I'd never heard of them before and didn't know any of their songs. Well maybe two but that was it. They were ok, not great but we had a good time. 
Brandy and Mark, he plays with Bryan Edwards. 
Hanging out in the Atrium we ran into the Trace Adkins look alike. We figured we'd get a picture with him since the real Trace was no longer on board. I'm not getting into detail as to what happen, so if you'd like to know I'm sure you can google it. Lets just say he was off the ship by our first stop. 
We had no clue in the moment that the person we'd asked to take our picture with him was Frankie Ballard (below) So of course we had to get one with him afterwards. He's got a great voice and some really good songs. 
Later that night we ended up in Bliss, lounging on the bed people watching. We were all way to tired and well really just an emotional wreck that we had no energy to get up and dance. 
Are they not the cutest couple ever!!! Brandy was the single one out of the group, her and Joe hit it off the first day and the rest was history as its called. 
We finally called it a night and headed to the Atrium to get some food to help ease the pain and sober up a bit. Carey caught up with us as well after he got off work. He was a absolute sweet heart, I loved chatting with him about is girlfriend and their future together. He worked with the production crew, he was there with a group from his school. We knew one of his friends from last year that was there again this year. It was fun to meet them all and get to know everyone. 
 Our night ended shortly after eating and Sarah and I headed back to the room. I tell you that girl has pretty thick skin but when you cross her the wrong way you'd better watch out. That beautiful blonde hair can sure full you. I'm so blessed to be able to call her my best friend!!!!