Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Alright, I just have to say it

Okay so I've been trying to keep this in, but I can't anymore. I first need to say that I don't need anyone's criticism about what I have to say. I know that pretty much this entire post will look very petty and childish, and that's fine, but no one other than me can understand the hurt I felt from this, and thus they can only see how petty this is. I get it, I really do, but I'm sure there's things you experience that no one else in the entire world will ever understand how you feel in that situation, and well this is mine.

Just so you have a little bit of background, I have only one grandparent left, my Papaw who is fast approaching 94 years old. This man is the light of my world. He means more to me than I could probably imagine. First off, he's an amazing grandfather. Secondly, he's a WWII and Korean War Veteran and deserves all of my respect and gratitude. Third, he's always always been there for me. He's helped me out financially when I couldn't make ends meet, and he helped me get through college when I didn't budget for expensive books. He's truly a wonderful grandfather and I owe everything to him. Pretty much my entire adult life I've understood what an amazing person my grandfather is and constantly strive for his approval. I've seen people all around me that just don't have it together and my Papaw was and still is my role model for the person I should be. I know I'm the light of my Papaw's eyes, he always calls me his baby girl (as I'm the youngest grand-baby). When he says this my heart bursts from joy. I may not show it to everyone, but my heart is exploding with love and excitement when he calls me that.

I also have two cousins that are both older than me. Both of my cousins have been less than favorable, especially in the way they treat my grandfather. Now let me stop here for a moment, later on I'm sure I will state that I feel like I'm better than these two people, and truly at the end of the day, I do feel that way, but this is just the beginning of that whole "no one knows the pain I have so they can't begin to judge my statements." My two cousins do not have any education outside of their required high school education (which they both barely achieved). The both do not have stable jobs, it seems like each time I see them one is out of work complaining why they were fired from whatever crap job they had. Both also have had problems with illegal substances, I don't know what, and I don't really care, but all I know is that this shouldn't be brought around my Papaw and anyone who would do so is not someone who I will respect. My female cousin "ran away" (I say that loosely because she was still around physically but never contacted our family) for a few years, she also had a stint of time where she wasn't sure if she was homosexual or not. My male cousin is in constant trouble with the law, due to his drinking and driving - which my Papaw always pays him out of. My male cousin has been in jail multiple times - which Papaw bailed him out of. All of which my cousin never offered to pay him an ounce of money back. My male cousin also got some random girl knocked up, and hardly ever speaks to the girl or the baby (mostly the mother's decision, she seems money hungry because she knows our Papaw will help them out ... and did).

Both of my cousins have lived with my Papaw for a good while. During that time they never cleaned, did laundry, cooked, did work on the house or yard, or helped pay for groceries or utilities. At one point my female cousin was even diagnosed with a STD that was spreadable by just touching (I'm sure you can gather what I'm talking about without airing her laundry out there). Well she was so self centered that she took a bath in my Papaw's only bathtub (he lives in an older house with no shower) and didn't disinfect the tub even when asked by my Papaw. So my 92 year old Papaw was on his hands and knees scrubbing the tub with Borax just to ensure he didn't catch anything that may be spreadable. I also should mention that during this time that my female cousin lived with my Papaw she was working in the bar scene, in which she surrounded her self with all the wrong kinds of people, I don't need to elaborate, I don't know the details, but there's something to say for a 27 year old spending every night at a bar and every day sleeping. It's just not a lifestyle someone should be working, and it's not the people you should surround yourself with.

Okay ... with all of that out of the way, I met my husband online in February 2009 and my entire family had an issue with this. I understand, they didn't get it and they were worried about me. However, John was the one for me, there was and still is no denying that. The moment I knew that I was in love with John and knew that he was was the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with was in early March. John and I were talking about past relationships and I shared a very personal story with him about the guy I dated before John came along. The store goes like this, "Mr X (the guy before) had a little girl already and when you date someone with a child you will have the what if we have children talk. I shared with him that I wanted this specific name and without ever asking why he quickly said well I don't like that name." My heart was crushed because he didn't let me explain why at all, he just shut me out. John asked what was the reason and what was the name and I told him that the reason was that I don't remember my maternal grandmother at all (who is the wife of the Papaw mentioned above). I told John that if I could have any wish granted it would be to spend one more day with her, because I can't remember the way she smelled or how her voice sounded or how her hugs felt. Because of this, I have always wanted to name my little girl Ella Grace which honors my grandmother, Mary Ella. John got really quiet and I was worried that he didn't like it and thought to myself "well this is the end of this relationship" and then John said the most beautiful words. He told me, "You know what I think? I think it's the most beautiful name in the world. I bet your grandmother did everything with grace. I bet she held you with grace and sang to you with grace." Now I need to stop here to mention that no one can comprehend how special my grandmother's singing to us is. She used to sing You Are My Sunshine to us and I tear up anytime I hear that tune. So John saying that he bet she sang to me with grace without knowing about this was just even more perfect. All the while he's saying this I'm crying into the phone and knew this was the man that God made for me. I told my aunt and mom this story the following Sunday at Papaw's house. All three of us were crying in the kitchen and both of them agreed John had a heart of gold.

With all of that back story, here's what has turned into a terrible Thanksgiving. My female cousin got pregnant by this guy that she was dating. She's very lucky that he has his head on his shoulders and actually wants to step up and take care of his responsibilities. He proposed to her, but she didn't want to get married to him because she wasn't sure at first, but then decided that she wanted to have an elaborate white wedding the summer after the baby was born. Who is going to be asked to foot that bill ... my Papaw I'm sure. So I got this invite by her to her baby shower (which she made sure to text me her address to mail the items I bought her because she knew I couldn't make it - don't let me forget to mention that I hadn't bought her anything yet, and wasn't exactly planning on it). I just can't provide enough examples why she has no class or tact with anything. I'm very confused as how we're related when I was raised 180 degrees different than she was.

So let's fast forward to Thanksgiving 2010. I got her this huge bag full of baby clothes, which she could've cared less about. I guess she wasn't happy I didn't mail them to her 4 months prior like she sent for. She was truly an adorable pregnant girl and I made sure to tell her how cute she was. At dinner, all she wanted to do was tell me how she was planning her wedding and showing off her ring, which I'm concerned why she felt any need to flaunt this ... I feel she needs to get married and do things right, so she's not wowing me in an facet by telling me about this wedding I doubt will ever happen (I doubt it because she debated so long if she even wanted to get married at all to him).

My cousin and her baby daddy left after lunch and my Papaw started talking about her baby. He mentioned that he was told that they're naming the baby after my Grandmama - which I know just isn't why she chose that name. This completely broke my heart. My Papaw doesn't know of my intentions (I kinda wanted to surprise him).

Now this is the part that I'm sure you'll think I'm judgmental. I've tried to do everything right in my life. When I say that I mean that I have tried to model my life after how my grandparents did it. I look up to them as they've been the only solid examples of a stable life and a stable relationship that I've had. I got through school without getting pregnant, I've worked the whole time, I spent time "out on my own" that made me grow up, and then I got married. I see my cousins being bailed out of their troubles and then "praised" (for lack of better words) for their mess ups.

I ended up lashing out at my cousin over the phone (which I know is wrong but I spent the afternoon sobbing and we all know when emotions get involved you say things you know you shouldn't) and told her that I knew she wasn't naming her baby after our grandmother and that she shouldn't lie to our Papaw and tell him that. Well my lashing turned into an all out brawl when she told me I was a joke along with multiple other vulgarities and told me that it was too bad, she was having a baby first and was going to name her after our Grandmama. After we left Tennessee my family had Sunday lunch at my Papaw's house and my Aunt asked my mom if I needed psychological help (let me mention again, that my Aunt knew about the name story with John ... remember she was there when I told my mom and cried in the kitchen with us ... yet now she's denying ever knowing this). Also my cousin's baby daddy said to my mom its best that "those people" (referring to me and my husband) stay away from my Papaw's house and especially him, his baby momma, and his child. WHO THE HELL IS HE TO SAY THIS? HE'S NOT EVEN A FAMILY MEMBER AT THIS POINT!!!

Let's get one thing straight - that's MY Papaw, you have no ties to him, you're probably making my cousin come around more because she's told you how much money he has. You both are a JOKE! I do not ever see myself considering you or my cousin family again.

The more I think about this issue the more hurt I get and in turn become more angry.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa's Castle

I had come up with an idea to have a classwide donation for this place on post called Santa's Castle.
Santa's Castle is a place where ONLY military members can be suggested by their chain of command to get FREE Chrismas presents for their children when they are in need. Many of us know the Army doesn't pay the best, and many times we have a hard time making ends meet. (My mind goes back to the song "American Soldier" where the lyrics say, "I don't do it for the money, there's bills that I can't pay" ... gosh there are times for ALL Soldiers that these words ring so true.) Santa's Castle is set up to provide every Soldier who is accepted into this program with over $100 in toys for every child. These gifts are a something that can make a Christmas without Daddy a lot more pleasant when it's hard to celebrate without him.
We have this Facebook page set up for the families of the Soldiers in training with our company (Echo 2/47) and I gave them a call to action. We asked them if they felt so compelled to donate 1 new unopened toy for a child from birth to 18 that we would make a large donation on behalf of the whole class. We told them that we'd have the donation box set up at the meet and greet. We asked all the Drill Sergeant's wives to bring a toy so they box didn't look empty. Well of COURSE we were late to the meet and greet - thanks John Haines - and when we got there the box was OVERFLOWING!! This was epic! I can't believe the donation given, but that wasn't all of it. Later that night, a couple came up to us and had quite literally a car load full of toys! They said they didn't have grandbabies and wanted to give back. The next morning at family day toys were still pouring in! This was sooo awesome! At the end of it all we had over 400 toys for our classwide donation to Santa's Castle.

Graduation ... FINALLY

John's current class of privates graduated last week and I can't tell you how happy I am.

Being "on the trail" as they call it, isn't as hard as I thought it would be. With that being said, I don't enjoy the whole waiting to make dinner until 9pm to find out that he ate with the privates at 6pm ... but hey that's just the kinks of this list style that we have to work out.

Now that he's home though, I am totally going to be a happy girl with this cycle break until late January! The only thing that truly sucks is that we had planned a cruise for early January but was told that John picked up 2 days before our cruise returned to port so that went out the window. Then we found out about 2 weeks ago that the pick up wasn't until late January but we'd already spent our cruise fund :(

Oh well ... onto more productive thinking ...

I certainly am excited about the fact that John will be around the house more to help with the mutts and household chores more!

During graduation, John got to be a squad leader in the "demo squad" (which in my opinion is the coolest part of the ceremony). He got to lead the privates out onto the field through smoke and gunfire. Below are some cool photos of him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I am hating school!

I'm helping John with his classes this go around and I just have no drive to take this dang comp class. Thank God I made it through good ole MC (Maryville College that is) because I swear I don't think I'll ever want to go to college again.

I admit it, I'm lazy. I'd rather watch TV and play online than read a book and write about crap I honestly don't care about.

This is something I've gotta change (the laziness that is) before too long. When we have little ones, with me working and John on the trail I know that I will need to better manage my time, I just need to get on it. Grrr ... can I please get a good helping of motivation? I'm super motivated at anything that makes me money, but pretty much could care less to lift a finger otherwise. That's really embarrassing and petty. I started a few weeks ago, going to the gym and was loving it, but quit last week because "I was too busy" but I think that really translates into "I'm too lazy and would rather loaf around at home.

Grrr! That's all I can say!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holiday Shopping

OMG I have to get on it this year! I've got big plans for John but I can't get my act together and actually get him his gifts, lol.

Thankfully we will be diong Christmas with my family AFTER Christmas so I can hit up some good sales before heading to TN for New Years/Papaw's Birthday.

We've decided to spend Thanksgiving with my family in TN, which will be a whirlwind of Mom's house, Papaw's house, and Dad's house in the few short days. Not to mention I can't find a formal dress in this town that's worth buying so I'll be on the hunt in TN for a dress for the formal on December 4th.

Christmas will be spent with the Haines' family in Florida, not exactly the picture perfect Christmas - the Florida and sand thing, not the family thing, lol. I can't wait to spend time with my Haines family, I love them so much and miss them just as much as I miss my family in TN when we're gone from them for a long time. I'm so excited to see my baby niece, Riley, for the first time. I can't wait to have a baby around for Christmas!

Here's the big issue ... I have NO CLUE what to get my family (the Haines side) for Christmas! I'm completely at a loss and I hate asking people what to get people, but I am at a dead end with them. So here's to hoping I come up with something soon ...

On the other hand I have a whole list for my amazing hubbieee and can't wait to get him everything that he deserves! Now that I'm a "worthy" part of our marriage and have a job that pays worth something I can't wait to spoil this man :)

My plan for next Christmas .... Ski resort!!!! Well, let's be honest, it probably won't happen next year, but I'm definitely planning on it before we leave Benning. I'm roping my Father in law away from work if I have to hog tie him myself!

I wish we could/would buy a house

This morning while reading the news online I saw an article about the awesome house prices around the country, specifically what you can get with less than 100k!!

I'm so wishing we would've thought of buying a house but when we got here we didn't know the area or anyone to trust as we had no friends here in the beginning to tell us the good areas. I'm praying very hard that when we leave here we will get stationed at Carson (our number one choice, by the way) and you better believe that we'll be buying a home!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Official Employee Now

Well, after 10 months, one separation, and a lot of tears and worrying - I'm now an official employee with Aflac!!

My journey started last December when I came in as a temp through Manpower. (Side note: I will always use Manpower when we PCS because I have had the best experience with them helping me find a job - and I would suggest this to ANY military wife that is in search of a job when they PCS start with them.)
I came into Aflac as an Administrative Assistant for 15 Market Vice Presidents of Broker Sales. This was a completely new module to this department so I was flying blind with these guys. It was a lot of work, but we got into a grove. Soon there after I was told we would be getting some extra help with the 15 guys as the department had been allowed 3 admins for these guys. Not long after (about April) I was told that the company had to help some dislocated employees and my job was bring replaced with internal employees instead of hiring me from the outside. This was so hard to accept because the department wanted to keep me but just couldn't. I was completely heartbroken as I've never been "released" from a job.
I found another position soon with a local property management company, but it turned out to be the wrong fit for me and my family.
I was blessed with a phone call from Manpower that my old team at Aflac needed me back, but on a temporary term again. I didn't care, I wanted to go "home" so I left a permanent full time position to go back to Aflac. I was now working for the department head who is known as a tough man to work for. Well maybe I just mesh well with this man, because he is really easy going and helps me learn when there's something he needs that I don't know how to do off the top of my head. He also teaches me a lot and I love the fact that my job is now a challenge.

Well I was given the opportunity to apply for this position on a permanent level in August. For the last month and a half I've been on pins and needles hoping I was the right fit for him. Well on Tuesday, September 28th I was offered the position to support Ron full time, as an official Aflac employee.


I can't wait to turn in my neon yellow badge and parking hang tag for a regular badge and actual sticker on my car!! I can't wait for the challenges ahead of me and am so blessed to be given this opportunity! I have made some of the best friends at this job that I've ever had and will take them in my heart with me where ever I go after here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Boss

Can I just say that even though he may be very tough to work for and a little intimidating, I am so thankful for how he keeps me under his wing. Since I'm a temp, some people treat me like crap as I'm not an official Aflac employee. Ron always makes me feel like I am an employee and that really goes a LONG way.

Just today this lady was very snipity with me because I could not reach him on the phone and at the last moment called her back to let her know and she totally chewed me out that she didn't have time and when I tried to apologize she said "Okay, okay, okay" and hung up on me.

Well just in passing I mentioned to my boss that I was still waiting on dial in informaiton for a call he needs to be on. He asked me why and I simply told him the answer and he said put me through to her, this is unacceptable.

I just am very thankful to work for a man who cares about his staff. He's a great lead by example kind of person.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Commissary

I read this lady's blog (Boots in the doorway and saw her story on her first experience with the commissary. I thought this was hilarious, and decided to write about my own. Now it isn't my "first experience" story, but it IS my firt HORROR experience story, lol.

My first horror was on the day before Christmas! My husband and I were spending it alone, it was his first Christmas not furnished by the DFAC and our first being married. I had never cooked a Christmas dinner ever before and wanted it to be just perfect for my hubby who had just returned from Iraq and hadn't been in a "home" for Christmas since he was in the Army(he went straight to Germany and never really got to come home much during the holidays due to deployments). I wanted everything to be perfect for him, I was scared to death because I had never cooked a meal to this caliber before.

One word of advice, don't ever go to the commissary on days like this. Heck, don't go on paydays, Mondays, Sunday evenings, or anywhere relatively near a holiday. On any of the aforementioned occassions you will find: mothers with screaming children, Guard families that do not live close and leave with three carts full of groceries to last the whole month, and retirees and their wives that act like they own the place.

Needless to say this was a nightmare! Those retirees are SOOO rude! I mean I get it, you were a spouse or servicemember at one point, but please don't treat us newbies like poo!

There was one "single" mom of a new baby (you can tell when someone is deployed by the amount of food they buy). Her baby was sleeping in his carseat in the cart and the mom was reading the instructions on the box of stuffing. This mean older lady came up to the young mom and slammed her buggy head on into the new mom's. She then proceded to tell the mom that she needed to know what she needs to buy and not stand around in the way. I was apalled but that young mom held her own. She popped off at the lady that it must be hard shopping for a large family (there were clearly many people she was shopping for based on her cart's contents) but that she wasn't sure how to make stuffing and wanted to know her other ingredients needed as she's never done this before and had no way to get home to her parents for the holiday and that she'd take a lot less time looking if she had any help by say, oh a husband who wasn't delpyed! I so had a go-girl moment after that mean ass grandma walked away in shock.

So here's my suggestions for you grumpy grandmas out there:
1. Don't be so mean, you never know someone else's story
2. Don't hog the food, I promise the world won't stop if you don't have a whole cart full of meat
3. Don't act like the world revolves around you. I don't mind you shopping on post, but you're not better than me and I'm no better than you. We're all part of this big ass Army family, and your shit does stink, just like mine, the lady with 9 kids, and the soldier down the asile who is loading up on Little Debbie cakes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Almost that time again

Well we're almost done with our separation!! John will be graduating on August 12th from the US Army Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson!!! I can't wait to see him put on that Drill Sergeant hat, he's worked a long time to get to this point in his career.

We're fortunate enough to have family that can make it to John's graduation, as of right now we will have my mom, John's dad, John's Nana and John's "big brother" Tony at the ceremony. We're so thankful to have such a great family that can come out and support him :)

After the ceremony, we're going to get on the road and head out to Hilton Head for a long weekend with Dad & Sally!! Since we didn't have an official honeymoon or anniversary, we are going to celebrate our one year anniversary on the very beach we got married on one night while at Hilton Head. We're going to get a seafood dinner (our favorite) and go out to the beach we got married on and have a picnic. Don't tell John, but he's got a good anniversary gift waiting on him for that night! I got him something he needs for work, and has wanted for a good long while :)

Our other plans for the weekend are to spend as much time in the ocean as possible, eat as much seafood as we can consume, and laugh so hard our stomachs hurt! I can't wait to spend this time swept away with my hubby!!

I will have photos and hopefully videos of the graduation soon :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Time to catch up

Gosh, we haven't done a good job keeping this up since we've been back stateside :(

Well here's a recap of November 2009 to June 2010

November: we spent most of this month traveling to see family while John was still on leave. We had the chance to spend over a week total with the Haines' family. One trip was to Myrtle Beach to see all of John's cousins and Aunts for the family Thanksgiving, and the other was to Hilton Head to see Dad and Sally. In Myrtle Beach, we took Ranger to the beach, where he had a TON of fun chasing birds. We also got to be with Connie and Jason when they got engaged before he deployed to Iraq. Hilton Head was nice to be with Dad and Sal. Ranger had too much fun on the beach, he became our Salty Dog that weekend. Sal fell in love with her new fur grand baby, Ranger.

December: John went on the "trail" as a turtle and LOVED it! I got a job with Aflac's WWHQ and just loved the job!! We ended up spending Christmas together alone at home. I made my first Christmas dinner. Thankfully the only thing that sucked was the crab stuffed mushrooms. Apparently I did something that Rachael Ray didn't explain on her show. I mean I followed the directions, but they were just terrible. Dad gave us a Wii, so John got the new Mario Brothers game for Christmas and I think we spent three whole days playing that game. We also got a new puppy, her name is Sophie. Poor thing almost died on us the day after we adopted her. No worries ... that terror is in perfect health now :) She's a boxer mix ... I think the mix is demon ... but she's now roughly 6 months old and 50 lbs!! I'm worried what we're in for :(

January: We spent New Years Eve at our neighbors house (Espie and V) and had sooo much fun! They've turned into long time friends. Mom also got to come down for my birthday. Too bad it rained the whole weekend.

February: We got our first official snow in Columbus. Took the pups out ... Sophie hated it. She's too prissy for snow. We spent John's birthday togeher, followed by Valentine's Day just before he had to leave for BNCOC. Then rest of February was spent working hard and missing John.

March: Mom came down and I put her butt to work planting new shrubs and flowers :) I also visited Tony & Katrin in Huntsville, AL. Had a great time seeing them ... but I was sicker than ever. I always end up sick around them.

April: I flew up to Virginia to visit John for Easter and we had a blast!! We went fishing and flipped a canoe. Not funny at the time ... but pretty funny afterwards. We went to Bush Gardens and rode all kinds of scary roller coasters. My favorite was the Alpengeist. We spent time with his "extended family" the Pecks. And we visited Yorktown and Williamsburg. We decided to plan a vacation to follow history one day. Starting at Jamestown and following everything through the Revolutionary war.

May: Well May was a roller coaster. I lost my job with Aflac at the end of April, and got a new job with Greystone Properties as a leasing consultant. Spent the month getting ready for John to come home. Bought paint for him to paint our home with. We ended up hating one of the colors. We had a visit from our friends Tony & Katrin on Memorial Day weekend. Had a BBQ. And prepared for John to leave again :(

June: We had just a few days toghether before John left for Drill Sergeant School. Most of this time was spent getting ready, he had a HUGE packing list of Army crap to bring! We said goodbye - or really see you soon - the night before our 1 year anniversary. Tears on my part were included. He laughed at me. It's usual.

Now I've got the challenge of a huge to do list before John gets home.