Thursday, December 31, 2009
I told 2008 that you my dear friend 2009 would be a better year! And thank goodness I was right. Now don't get me wrong, you and I also shared some moments that were not so bright - but overall our time together was fairly smooth.
It was a year of discovery and reexamining. I discovered myself once again and the things that I have always loved. I reexamined my life and made some changes based upon that evaluation. I said that you, 2009, would be the year of "me". And that you were. I did what I wanted when I wanted and at times with little regard to anyone else. That last part I regret, but at the same time I have always done what everyone else wanted me to do - leaving me very little time for the things I wanted to do. You changed that 2009.
It was so nice to get back to Barrel Racing -- horses are my true passion and I am never happier than when I am in the saddle. And the fact that Vixen wanted to make this a part of her life too was amazing. She was such a natural and it was great to share something I am so passionate about with one of my best friends. It is now a love that we both share and has perhaps made us even closer as friends, if that is possible.
2009 you also proved me wrong. I had closed the door of my heart and promised that I would never let another in. That was famous last words. I will be forever grateful to you for sending a young Marine into my life and for granting me the sense to realize that some promises are meant to be broken.
You and I have had an interesting trip around the sun together and I am sad to see you go. But I know that I will always look back on you and smile at our shared memories but also cry over the loss of Grandpa - a loss that came to soon but am thankful he has now entered the gates of heaven.
At midnight tonight I will bid you farewell, 2009. I hope that 2010 will be as kind to me as you have been.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Mom told me the emergency people had called her and an ambulance was on the way to the house. Grandpa had pushed the button and said he was experiencing pain and a shortness of breath. She was over an hour away and stuck in traffic. Of course I would meet the ambulance at the hospital.
As Marine clutched the steering wheel with one hand and squeezed mine with the other, I stared out the window not really focusing on anything as we headed for the hospital. I silently took deep breaths, trying to remain calm and keep my tears at bay. He would be ok, I told myself.
At 89 my grandfather was in great health - mentally and physically. He walks with a cane due to an earlier hip surgery but other than that he's pretty spry, especially for someone of his age.
We arrived at the hospital ahead of the ambulance. We waited....... and waited...... and waited...... time seem to crawl by. Finally we saw fire trucks pull into the parking lot starting to block off an area.
"They're going to life light someone," Marine says.
I remain silent. I can't even describe the emotions swirling around inside.
An ambulance pulls into the parking lot with the lights flashing. It stops near the fire trucks. We leave the waiting room and head towards it. I say my Grandpa's name asking a man standing by the ambulance if he is inside. The man confirms this but is no help with anything else.
My tears are right below the surface but I fight them back trying to continue to remain calm. Finally a nice man climbs out of the ambulance. I recognize him as one of mom's neighbors. He says I can sit with Grandpa till the helicopter arrives.
I climb inside. Three paramedics are inside as well; one working on paperwork, one messing with an IV that is running to Grandpa, and the third has his back to me as I enter and take a vacant seat.
Grandpa lays there with a mask over his face. I take his hand and he turns and offers me a slight smile. No words our spoken and then the man doing the paperwork tells me that Grandpa has had a heart attack. He then asks me about what kind of medications Grandpa takes. Before I can answer Grandpa is answering the question himself. To my unknowing eyes he appears to be ok, just weak.
When the questions are done, I tell Grandpa I love him. He tells me he loves me and that he will be alright.
I'm told I have to exit the ambulance so they can get him ready. I step outside into the cold winter air and as Marine throws his jacket around my shoulders and wraps me in his arms I let a tear slide down my cheek.
A moment later the helicopter has landed and as the wheel Grandpa toward it I am told I can come tell him bye. I rush to his side and kiss his cheek and squeeze his hand again telling him I love him and that I'll see him soon.
We learn the next day that he has to have bypass surgery. It's the only option. And at his age the doctors say it's pretty much a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. So the surgery is scheduled for the following day.
With visiting times in the ICU of only four 30 minute intervals throughout the day it just seems there is never enough time. The last one that night Mom has gone home early so she can be back at 5 in the morning before the surgery - Marine and I stand by his beside. He talks to Marine about his time in the Air Force as he asks again about Marine's upcoming deployment. There are so many things I want to say yet I can't seem to find the words. We cover topics of present and past. All to soon a nurse appears and I know we have to leave. Grandpa kisses me and as I turn to leave I try to convince myself he will be ok. He didn't look like someone who had just had a bad heart attack. He looked like it was something way more mild, as if he was just weak from the flu or something.
The surgery was done on the 23rd. It went good and we thought he was going to pull through. Mom and I spent hours at the hospital. Christmas with our family was on hold. We would wait till he was out so we could all celebrate together. Christmas day instead of the normal Christmas feast mom and I enjoyed a salad and chicken sandwich in the hospital cafeteria.
Saturday night (the 26th) at approximately 10 p.m. Grandpa passed away.
It was so soon and so sudden. Perhaps I'm still in shock. I thought he would outlive us all.
I am sad but also I try to think positive about it. At 89 he had still been vibrant and full of life. Still driving to the post office every few days and getting out and going for walks. He never got to the point he was losing his mind, or that he couldn't get around. And that I think is something to be thankful for. I hope that I will be as lucky to say the same when I approach his age.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
With snow everywhere and most of the town closed we decided to spend Saturday night snuggled up at the hotel watching movies. It was perfect just to lay around and relax. All the while of course watching the snow continue to fall outside the window.
Sunday we ventured out into the snow and headed to the Biltmore Estate. Despite the snow the parking lots were still crowed with tourists like ourselves, bundled up and ready to view the beautiful estates.
Some of the estate, like the greenhouses and deer park, were closed due to the weather but we still enjoyed driving around the estate and of course I took a ton of pictures (see below slideshow)!
After driving around for a bit we made our way to the winery (photo taken from Biltmore website), where we entered and got in line to for the wine tour.
I have never really been much of wine drinker.... mainly because I have just never really tried wine enough to find one that I would like. The wine tasting was perfect for that!
My favorite was the, Christmas at Biltmore™ White Wine - which was described as "A seasonal favorite, this semi-sweet white wine is an excellent complement to your favorite holiday dishes." So of course I had to purchase a bottle. Marine preferred the rose wines his favorite being the Blanc de Noir. Of course we ended up purchasing a bottle, I mean after drinking tons of wine before you enter the store does not to lead to good purchasing decisions!........ we left with four bottles. Yes four. Us the non wine drinkers. We each got a bottle of our favorite and then we purchased both of our mom's a bottle for a Christmas present.
So yes the Biltmore's marketing strategy worked on us quite nicely. Well done Biltmore. Well done.
After this of course we are hungry, so we walk across to the Bistro (picture taken from Biltmore website) - which is very conveniently located next to the winery. This is a rather late lunch and so not to spoil our diner we each order lightly; I order a bowl of potato soup and Marine orders the French onion. Mine was delicious! Was it $8 good for a small bowl? No, not really. But I was hungry and on the over priced menu, it was acceptable.
We wondered around the village after this and wasted time till we would need to return for our scheduled Candlelight tour.
The night was cold and we were bundled up as we exited the shuttle bus in front of the enormous house. It was breathtaking.
And that is putting it mildly. We paused for a picture on the front steps before leaving the chilled night air for the comfort of the enormous house.
Inside the rooms were even more amazing. Each room so different from the last; all so well staged with antique beds and old timey desks that made my imagination ponder about what had been written at them so long ago as guests of Mr. Biltmore probably sat and wrote about the adventures they had while on their stay at the Estate.
Of course photography was not allowed in the house or I would have a ton of pictures to put post here. But lets just say it was well worth the while taking the candlelight tour.
The house is HUGE!!! I could never imagine having lived their. Especially as a child!? I mean there were so many places that one could get lost and my imagination would have pictured monsters behind every corner. The plus, however, would have been that it would have been a great place to play hide-and-seek with your friends.
The next day (Monday December 21) we packed the LandRover and headed toward home. Deciding to take the scenic route and in being in no rush we stopped at a Casino and gambled a little bit.
Marine and I each decided to only gamble $10 each. We played for about an hour before deciding to continue on our journey home. Marine lost all his money. I started with $10 and left with $12 so I was pleased. Seems I'm pretty good at the penny slots..... now the dollar slots.... yeah they like to take my money! hehe
Overall it was a great weekend getaway. I was so surprised and quite impressed that Marine had booked everything himself and kept it a surprise for over a month. It was so thoughtful and the unexpected snow added a magical feel to the weekend. I was not ready to come home.
Monday, December 28, 2009
At 5:30 a.m. I woke up so excited I couldn't possibly go back to sleep. The alarm would not go off for another hour but that didn't stop me from bouncing out of bed and heading toward the shower as Marine grumbled into his pillow some kind of nonsense about it being to early.
After I got out of the shower he had no choice but to also roll out of bed. There was a lot to do! I hadn't even packed yet....... I mean really how can you pack when you don't even know where you're going??!!! Exactly!
So I pull out the ol grande suitcase and just start throwing stuff in. He laughs and comments its a good thing its just the two of us, implying that I am packing to much. Oh well better to be prepared (which when we got there I still really wasn't).
By 8:00 a.m. I am in the car, buckled up, and burning a hole in the paper that holds the secret. Marine had left the folded up directions causally on the driver seat. I wanted to reach over and just sneak a quick peak. But I fought the urge. He had kept this a secret for over a month, he deserved to tell me where we going.
He gets in the car with a hug grin, "You looked didn't you?"
I try to play dumb, "Looked?"
He laughs, "You so looked!"
"No I didn't! I promise." I attempt to a scouts-honor/cross-your-heart move.
"Ok well here take a look...." He hands me the directions as he starts to drive.
I unfold and look at the top of the page....... where is it........ ahhhhh!!!!! Destination - Orlando! Complete with Disney confirmation number ~ how exciting..... but at the same time I'm not looking forward to the 8 hour drive...... Oh well! Yay Road trip!
We drive a few miles south, then Marine puts his blinker on and gets into the turning lane. What is he doing? He turns and we are now headed north.
"Um..... we're going the wrong way...." I point out - am I missing something?
"No we're not," He looks over at me and smiles.
I look back at him utterly confused.
"Those were the fake directions so in case you got curious and looked," He pauses to look over at me - yes mouth is fully dropped - "Now would you please reach behind my seat and hand me the real directions?"
I have underestimated Marine. I thought he was actually silly enough to leave the real directions out. He may just be smarter than I give him credit for.
I hand him the real directions waiting on him to now tell me where we are going. New Destination - Asheville, North Carolina.
A nice, relaxing, romantic getaway. Complete with Candlelight tour of the Biltmore House. Very nicely planned Marine, very nice - I think to myself.
As soon as we crossed the North Carolina line snow was everywhere! I mean everywhere!!
Thank goodness we had borrowed Marine's mom's LandRover for this little adventure, and it came with some fancy button that was a setting just for snow. Worked great!!
We arrived and checked into the hotel ~ Which was wonderful, Jacuzzi tub and all! The snow was still pouring down with no ending in sight. Afraid of perhaps getting snowed in we decided to head to Grocery Store to get some supplies. The room was equipped a microwave and fridge so at least we wouldn't starve.
At this point there was about 7 or 8 inches of snow - which for the South is quite a bit - go ahead and laugh my northern friends. So every Southerner in a 10 mile radius is panicking trying to get in this super Wal-Mart.
Marine truly is a great guy. People who are in cars are stuck everywhere and have abandoned their cars. A woman is walking down the side of the road by herself. I'm on the phone with Blondie when I realize Marine is slowing and rolling down the window. He asks if she needs a ride. She happily accepts. We give her a ride to her home, she thanks us and exits the car.
Now if your like me your Mom has probably always warned you: DON'T PICK UP STRANGERS.
But I remained silent. I was happy we had been able to help someone out.
"If that were you I would hope someone would stop and offer you a ride. It's way to cold out for her to have had to walk all that way," He says simply.
Yes, if possible I think my heart swelled and it made me love him more.
We purchased some groceries and headed back to the hotel, all plans Marine had for the evening canceled due to the snow storm.
The next day we awoke to about 12 inches of snow and the news saying it was the most snow the area had seen since 1989.
This does not curb my excitement. Marine and I bundled up and headed in to town.
Of course because of the snow nearly everything is closed. But we enjoy walking down the snow covered sidewalks peeking into storefront windows. Hunger is setting in as the lunch hour approaches and we enter a restaurant we spot that is open. It is packed! The wait time for 2 people ---- an hour and a half.
We decide to take our chances and continue on down the street. As we talk I catch a whiff of something that smells wonderful!! Yes, Marine and I turn into bloodhounds as we pick up the pace sniffing the air as we walk. We follow our noses to a tiny restaurant. An Indian Restaurant. Neither of us has ever eaten Indian food so we decide what the heck, it smells so good let's give it a try!
We place our order and sit waiting on our food. The only knowledge I have of Indian food comes from Along Came Polly, you know when poor Ben Stiller eats it and it nearly kills him? ( I was going to post a you tube clip but I figured I would spare you.....)
Yeah, I remember this after I have already ordered. But I ordered the Butter chicken (see sign) and it sounds pretty safe....... The food arrives and its not quite what I pictured. Meaning there is alot of stuff on the plate that I can't really identify.... But I do see what I assume is chicken in a tomato sauce. It smells wonderful. I take a bite. Oh my! It nearly melts in my mouth its so amazing! I chew, savoring every bite and then swallow. And then it hits me. It started out as a slow spark but now is a blazing fire in my mouth. I take a sip of Diet Coke (the only soda they carry) and decide out of sheer hunger to power thru and I stick another piece of chicken in my mouth. This one I swallow more quickly hoping that the sauce will not fuel the flames already roaring in my mouth. A few more bites and I am sweating, my mouth is on fire, I can't feel my throat anymore, and it seems that I can the feel warm fire burning all the way down to my stomach. I have drank a Diet Coke and finished off Marine's glass of water at this point. I am furiously shoving fork fulls of rice in my mouth along with the pita looking bread thing, hoping to douse the fire. Marine has gone from looking concerned to trying to control his laughter as his body shakes like a hyena as he leaves the table to get me another glass of water.
Thirty minutes later Marine has finished his turkey sloppy joes along with the rest of my meal and we exit the restaurant and I fight the urge to dive head first into the snow with my mouth open.
Trip to be continued...
Saturday, December 26, 2009
This was my first with Christmas with Marine. I was excited to spend this time of year with him. The night before Christmas eve we arrived at his mom's house, over night bag in hand. Since his parents are divorced his mom and stepdad always do their Christmas morning on Christmas Eve morning. This year Marine Mom invited me to come and spend the night to, something that I still wasn't sure I was quite comfortable with.
I mean I know that she knows that when he's home he stays with me, etc. but still - staying at your boyfriends mom's house with your boyfriend? I don't know.
The night was spent watching movies - Marine, his mom, stepdad, little sister, and myself. At some point sleep took over and the next thing I knew I awoke to credits rolling across the flat screen - the light from the TV the only light in the otherwise dark living room. When I moved Marine also stirred. It seems everyone else had gone to bed sometime before.
We got up and headed for his old room, where we slept on a twin bed.
The next morning everyone was gathered around the Christmas Tree and gifts were exchanged and opened. It was nice to feel like part of the family.
And in true family fashion Marine threw me under the bus.
"E didn't want to stay last night cause she was afraid she was disrespecting you," he tells his mom.
She laughs, I blush.
"Oh no!! We wanted you to stay!" she exclaims while step dad mutters something about us not even wanting to know about their dating days then.
It eased my mind but that still didn't stop the death look I sent Marine's way.
Christmas Eve Marine and I spent at home. After returning from the hospital it just really doesn't feel like Christmas. We curl up and lay in bed watching Santa Clause 2 before drifting to sleep.
The next morning we awake and exchange stockings. We decided not to do gifts this year - just stockings. And it worked out perfectly and I must say I was surprised at the small, thoughtful items that filled my stocking.
I know, I know I'm gushing again lol but he seems to amaze me more and more everyday.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So I never finished up the last of my trip. To sum it up it was amazing! I had a wonderful time.
Thanksgiving - went to my grandparents, and took Marine to his first family function. All was going good till my bitch of a cousin called Marine by X's name. I foresaw this coming. She is one of those type of people and I expected nothing less of her than some sort of embarrassment. Marine handled the situation well and didn't acknowledge the mistake out loud but it was apparent to me that he caught it. (discussion followed later when just the two of us, he takes things in stride well.) Other than that the day was smooth and I think the family really like him.
That evening we met Vixen, VB, and Marine's Best Friend and went and watched the lighting of the Macy's tree. It was beautiful and the concert before hand was quite good to. Fun times.
The weekend after Thanksgiving we went to Marine's family's Thanksgiving diner. I met the whole family and things went good.
Work has been busy which is great! And my secondary jobs have been very busy keeping me up till nearly midnight. Which is great, I need the money.
This past weekend was Christmas Party weekend! Vixen's office party was Friday night and I go with her every year. And every year her boss buys tons of alcohol and then we play a game. I ended up coming hope with a bottle of Grey Goose and Vixen a Crate Barrel wine glass set.
Saturday night was my office Christmas party. It to went smoothly. I went with Office Mom (not my real mom but I'm sure everyone has an office mom) and we snuck out early. I mean I like most of the people I work with but not enough to hang out with them all night. And the main people I love from work weren't there so I was eager to get home to my nice warm bed.
Sad. I know.
Sunday, now Sunday was a big day for me. It was Marine's family Christmas.
Marine was still on base mind you.
Marine's mom invited me to the family thing early last week. And we all know that I do not say no very well. So after much inner debate (and advice from friends) I decided to go. So my first Christmas with Marine's family I attended solo.
I'm not even going to lie..... I was a nervous wreck.
But I thought of it like Barrel Racing.... I'm always nervous when I'm sitting waiting for my turn, but once in the shoot it's like that part of your mind shuts down and you do what comes natural.
Like the comparison? So I knew I would be nervous before hand but sure that once I got there things would go good.
I was right. It went wonderful. Everyone was nice and treated me just like one of the family. Every year their tradition is that they all get gifts for the small kids but the adults play a game. Marine's grandma buys a bunch of random items (all the way from toilet paper and laundry detergent to bath body works items and tools). All of it is stuff you would actually use. Which is nice. I mean have you bought toilet paper lately? Not cheap.
All the items are spread around on the kitchen island and everyone gathers around. His Grandma then pulls out a stack of envelopes and you go around the circle and drawing one when it is your turn. Each envelope has a slip of paper in it saying: Pick 1, Pick 2, Oops! (you get passed), telling you to pick a present for someone else, or telling you do something silly. There were approximately 4, yes 4 silly cards. And it would be my luck that I would I draw one.
I promised myself before going that I would not do anything to embarrass myself at this first family Christmas. WRONG. After several rounds it is once again my turn. I pull open the envelope and pull out the paper seeing writing scribbled all over it. Before reading it I know its not going to be good. One uncle has already had to sing 'I'm to Sexy', Marine's step-dad has had to sing Blue Christmas while doing his best Elvis move, and the other Uncle has had to make race car noises. I read the card aloud.
Now I should once again reiterate that I live in the south where every man hunts (well any guys guy). My card says that Marine's Grandpa has to teach me how to do a hog call. After which we both can pick a present.
Everyone laughs and I'm not sure who looks more like a deer in the headlights; Grandpa or myself. As he tries to control his laughter Grandpa does a hog call. I am laughing so hard I am nearly in tears and my face is the darkest shade of red you can imagine. I AM SO EMBARRASSED! All eyes are on me now. And everyone is laughing along with me.
I try to catch my breath, I put my hands up to mouth in imitation and do it. Not quite like Grandpa did but taking in to factor the embarrassment and my hurry to get it over, it was ok.
Everyone continues to laugh (including me) as I reach in to pick a present. I go with bath salts figuring I will need to wind down after this. Grandma puts her arm around me and hugs me, laughing and teasing me about how red my face is as Grandpa and the Uncles all laugh saying I did well. Marine mom is still doubled over in laughter and I think is officially crying at this point.
After that round I was cautious when reaching for an envelope.
I had fun and was glad I went. Marine's family was very welcoming. And if that was some kind of initiation..... I think I passed.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
E, "What part is darker?"
Marine, "I don't know."
Afterwards we are served wonderful food (of which I took a picture just for your viewing pleasure) and there was an open bar which should guarantee a fun time. But the bartenders must have been ordered to make weak drinks so in order to get a drink that was not 98% fruit juice I had to resort to ordering a double. I was tempted to ask for a triple once seeing Miss Bartender pour, what she considered, a double shot of rum into my drink. But I figured this would put me on her bad side and as a part time bartender myself I know that you do not want to be on the person whom you are depending on alcohol from's bad side (Take that piece of wisdom and tuck it away for a future date).
The night was spent eating and dancing...... and eating some more. Marine slow danced with me but once the beat picked up he left me to dance with one of his goofy friends that I have met on numerous occasions and have grown fond of. The night was fun.
The ball was interrupted at one point as a Marine took the mic and then proposed. This is either a moment you will go awe how sweet..... or think really? Personally I had mixed emotions.
It may have been perfect for them but not for me. It seemed so...... almost...... impersonal? Marine hugged from me behind as we watched and whispered in my ear, "I would never propose to you like that."
I smile feeling a little relieved, "Oh yeah? How will you do it?"
"It will be a surprise of course! But somewhere when it's just the two of us. But some place that's special to us."
I'm impressed with his answer.
The dancing resumes and Roommate Wife and I do the Cupix Shuffle and laugh. Sorry but I love this dance because it is the only choreographed dance I know.
Shortly after Roommate and Roommate Wife say good night and head back to the hotel. Marine and I decide to stay a little longer and we mingle with his friends. After about 30 more minutes we to decide to head back. At this point to much alcohol has been served and the younger Marine's, determined to get their money's worth, and the DJ have turned the nice, formal ball into a bad high school dance. Yep, it's time to go.
As we left the ball I could feel the tension ease from Marine with every step we took. He is a leader in his section (or something like that - No, I don't know all the technical terms - but I know that it is an important position that he had to earn) and because of his higher up's being at the ball he had always seemed to be on alert.
Perhaps my favorite moment of the ball was when a young Marine, so new to the service that his eyes still sparkled with future hopes and dreams of bravery, came up and took a seat at our table beside Marine. Marine introduces the New Recruit to me and we strike up a conversation. He is British and has just gained his U.S. Citizenship and is so proud to show me his old Visa he will no longer need. I immediately like the young man and his upbeat mood is contagious. His expression then becomes somber and he starts to tell me about when they were out West training just a month back. He speaks so highly of Marine and tells me that Marine helped him when his own section leader would not. He goes on to tell me all these wonderful things, while Marine sits blushing - he is modest and of course has not told me any of this. What must it feel like to know you have had such an impact on someone's life?
Later as we walked away from the convention center I told Marine that many people go their whole life never having an impact on someone or truely making a difference in someone's life. I tell him that I truely am proud of him and that he has also made a difference in my life.
Not ready to go back to the room yet we decided to walk out onto one of the many docks (My favorite part of the night). Despite the rain that had plaqued the sky's earlier in the day, the night breeze had blown in and made for a clear and starry night.
We talked as we walked along the dock hand in hand. He apoligizes for not dancing more, at which I shrug and say that it is ok.
Then probably one of the most romantic moments in my life occured. Marine asked me if I would dance with him. I smiled as he took me in his arms. Then I stopped him. If we were going to do this we were going to do it right. I took my phone out of my purse and flipped to the MP3 player and selected a slow slong.
There in the moonlight at the end of the dock we danced.
“A true man does not need to romance a different girl every night, a true man romances the same girl for the rest of her life.
~ Ana Alas ~
P.S. More pictures to come - my camera cable has gone MIA but as soon as I find it I will upload some more. Because you know me I took tons of pics! Also let me apologize in advance, due to the amount of pictures in this post I'm sure the layout and spacing is going to be all messed up!! Why does blogger do that? Anyway, SORRY!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tonight was different. I hung on every word. Waiting for the words.....
"As cadets, you volunteered for service during this time(taken from: Obama's Speech on Afghanistan Troop Surge: 'I Do Not Make This Decision Lightly').
of danger. Some of you have fought in Afghanistan. Many will deploy there. As your Commander-in-Chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of your service. That is why, after the Afghan voting was completed, I insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. Let me be clear: there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war. Instead, the review has allowed me ask the hard questions, and to explore all of
the different options along with my national security team, our military and civilian leadership in Afghanistan, and with our key partners. Given the stakes involved, I owed the American people – and our troops – no less.
This review is now complete. And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan."
His speech was delivered at West Point and as the words left his mouth you could see faces fall all over the room. Like myself they had known this was what he would say but we hoped in our hearts (and prayers) that maybe, just maybe, he would decide against sending more troops.
Marine's base is near the top of the list and has been preparing for months. They are now scheduled to deploy in Feburary.
I'm not sure if any of you were directly affected by this speech as well, but I'm sure if you weren't you know someone that was. Please keep all our military and their families in your prayers.
Day 1 ~ Friday, November 20th
At 2:30 p.m. I hit the road giddy and excited despite the long hour drive that lay ahead of me. I finally arrived around 9:30 p.m., Monster in hand, I was ready for a night out on the town with the guys. Marine's Marine friends were down and going out with us. Me and 5 guys..... gotta love nights out with the boys. They are always fun to say the least (not to mention full of laughs)! I had met several of the guys on my last trip up to base so an easy friendship had already been established and I felt at ease with the group. It was nice to get to know Marine's friends a little better.
We drifted among several bars and at the end of the night took a cab back to the apartment. (We were once again staying at Marine's roommates girlfriends apartment but she was out of town till Monday.)
Day 2 ~ Saturday, November 21st
Saturday the boys all left the apartment early leaving me and Marine all alone. It was cloudy outside so we used the bad weather as an excuse to lay in bed and watch TV.
Seeing as it was New Moon opening weekend somehow I had been able to talk Marine into going with me to see it. I will chalk this lapse in judgment on his part up to the new not quite have being worn off our relationship yet. Either way as soon as he agreed weeks ago I jumped on Fandango and purchased the tickets before he could change his mind.
He had never watched Twilight so Saturday afternoon we curled up on the couch and watched it. Maybe I've seen it to many times or perhaps I was trying to watch it thru a guys eyes. I focused on different aspects than I have the other times I have watched it and realized in away just how sickeningly cheesy it can be. But I'm still hooked despite myself...... I mean the books were so good!!
Marine was a good sport and watched Twilight while we ate lunch on the couch. He paid attention and even discussed aspects of the moving perhaps to solidify to me that he had indeed been paying attention.
Once the movie ended we spent the rest of the afternoon watching College Football, you know so I wouldn't totally strip him of his man card.
We then went to eat at Fox and Hound. Which was oh so delicious! Spinach dip followed by BBQ chicken pizza, washed down with cold beer all while watching football..... how much better can you get??!!!
We finished eating and since we were seeing the movie at 8 figured we should get there a little early. We figured 30 minutes would be fine but we had spare time and nothing else to do so we went and ahead and walked across the street to theater....... which was packed......... and we were almost a hour early! So we took our place in line and waited a short time before we were allowed to enter the theater.
The place was packed with teeny-boppers all sporting shirts that read "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob". All of which also had to scream as soon as Edward made his first appearance on the big screen. I myself showed some self-control and restrained my excitement but just about lost my cool when I saw Jacob's abs. I mean 16, really?? Every woman over the age of 21 probably went home and cried after seeing those abs.
I thought the movie was good, not as good as the book - but then they never are. Of all the books I think this was my least favorite just because how depressed and self-consumed Bella was at the beginning. But I loved the introduction of the werewolf's and the excitement that is sure to follow. As we left the theater Marine declares he is Team Jacob. I just shake my head and laugh not realizing that later on during the week he would then have a heated discussion with one of his guy buddy's as to why he is Team Jacob.
Day 3 ~ Sunday, November 22nd
On Sunday we thought we would do a nice deed. His other roommates wife was flying in from California and the roommate does not have a car on base. So instead of him renting a car for the day we offered to take him to the airport to pick her up. Simple........
Marine thought the airport was about an hours drive from base. And we were staying about an hour from base in the other directions. If you do the math that makes for a 2 hour trip. We left the apartment at 12:30 and did not arrive back till 11:00 that evening.
So there went Day 4.
Oh well. That's what friends are for.
Plus it was nice to meet Roommates Wife. She was really nice and we hit it off instantly, a relief seeing as it looked like she would be the only female I would know before the ball. I had hopes she would be able to help me with my hair but after a drunken phone call on Day 1 I learned she to was not so good at the "girly things". Turns out she had hoped I would be able to help her. Over diner that evening we discussed how we were both screwed.