Saturday, January 30, 2010

Julie & Julia

So last night I cozied up with my bag of Oreo's and a can of Dr. Pepper and settled in to watch Julie & Julia.

I loved it.

As I creep closer and closer to my 30th birthday, I can totally relate to Julie's 30 year crisis! I mean here I am at 27 and like her I'm not really in a job that.... well imagine the scene where she is at lunch with her friends. All of them seem to be highly successful. And then there's her. She has a job but not one that she seems to think of as important or defines her. Yeah that's me. And that's my friends.

All of my friends are in careers in which they went to school for. Except me. So I can totally relate to lost feeling that I'm sure she was feeling at that exact moment.

Now I'm not being a Debbie downer here. Just stating facts. I know we all make our own choices. It was my decision to stay in my small hometown where a job in my chosen career field is not really an option. That is a choice I live with and don't regret. But we can all dream, right? Wonder about the what if's. Wonder what might have happened if we would have made other decisions in the past. Would we have wound up at the same place? Or would our lives be completely different?

I think everything happens for a reason. And even though career wise I may wish I would have made other choices, I would never go back and change a thing for fear that it may change other things in my life as well.

Back to the movie. I admired Julie. When she first set her goal of cooking the recipes in one year I did not realize it would be as difficult as it turned out to be. I mean the live lobster part???!!!! Yeah I would have so done the same thing as she did...... run from the room screaming!

I admired her for setting a goal and sticking to it. What a great way to celebrate and turn the 30 year crises into a positive thing.

This got me to thinking that I would like to do something along the same lines. Not cooking persay.... because let's face it I can't cook. But pick something and try to accomplish it within a year. Something that I would never really attempt otherwise. But what?

I have no idea.... I have at least another year and a half to think about it. A goal I will try to come up with around my 29th birthday.

The movie was great; positive, inspiring, and a happy ending. Plus Meryl Streep ~ which is always one of my faves! The only thing the movie left me wondering if Julie ever got to meet Julia..... it was amazing how two lives so distant could have such an impact. Even though Julie may have never met Julia it was amazing how she helped shaped Julie from the person she was at the beginning of the movie to the person she was at the end. ---- I also liked the fact that Julie got a book deal out of her blog. I mean really isn't that every bloggers dream? To be discovered and asked to publish a book?! Oh come on admit it, you know it's true!

It you haven't seen this movie, give it a shot. And perhaps join me in thinking of your own 30-year-crises goal.

"If no one's in the kitchen, who's to see?"
~ Julia Child ~

Friday, January 29, 2010

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

In the south the mere mention of the word snow or sleet sends everybody in a frantic, frenzy. The grocery stores become packed as people stock up on food as if the world is about to come to an end.


Maybe its because we are ill prepared for snowy, winter weather. Our mountainous roads become slick quickly and make it hard to travel about.
Either way it meant that I got to leave work early. I went to the grocery store for two items: Dr. Pepper and Oreo's. As a kid my dad would always buy Oreo's when snow was predicted. That was the only time he would ever buy Oreo's he said something about the thought of being snowed in made Oreo's and milk sound good. Now that I'm older I have to laugh cause I now always have to have Oreo's if snow is in the forecast!!
Even when Marine and I were on our trip and all the snow was coming down, I had to make him stop so that I could get Oreo's to take to the hotel. Even though Dad may be gone, memories like this will never be forgotten. ♥
Also while at the store I went ahead and said hello to my close friend RedBox, who was so nice as to send me on my way with Julie & Julia and Made of Honor.

While at the store I purchased my first post engagement bridal magazine.

So here is to a night of curling up on the couch with my magazine of ideas, a good movie, and hand full of Oreo's. The weather outside maybe frightful, but inside is so delightful!

Lorelai, "Michel, it's the first snowfall of the season. It's very lucky! Make a wish!"

Michel, "Get away from me."

Lorelai, "Oh, you're not supposed to say it out loud."

(Michel answers the phone.)

Lorelai, (to herself) "The world changes when it snows. It's quiet. Everything softens."

Michel, "It's your mother."

Lorelai, "And then the rain comes."

~ Gilmore Girls ~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Preparing For Deployment

So while Marine is out training in preparation for the upcoming deployment I figured I to should start preparing.

While his preparation is mental as well as physical, mine will be mainly focused on the mental aspect. The reality that he will be gone for 7 to 8 months.

Personally I am glad (for my sake) that he will be deployed during the summer months when my schedule will be jam packed with horse shows and other Saddle Club events. The time will pass faster as long as I stay busy.... or at least that's what I tell myself.

I Googled - Relationships and Deployment - and found several good links. One that I found interesting within the Marine Pre-deployment Guide for families, was referred to as the emotional cycle of deployment (Below was taken from this website ~ of course with my commentary thrown in, this can be seen in red!):


A. Stage one – Anticipation of Departure (1–6 weeks before departure).
Before the deployment it is not uncommon for spouses to protest, to feel tense, to be frustrated and
to avoid the reality of the Marine’s/Sailor's departure. Spouses may unexpectedly find themselves crying at what may seem to be little things. There is also tension as couples cram a multitude of activities in a reduced time frame. There are things to fix, things to do, and people to see. It can be a hectic and frustrating time
~ I disagree with the the 1st part, I'm sad Marine is deploying but I don't feel frustrated. It's his job. It's something he has to do. And thankfully to men like him I am able to sleep in my warm bed at night safely. --- From personally experience though I do agree that couples try to cram in as much as they can. Every time Marine comes home the list of things to do and people to see seems endless.

B. Stage Two - Detachment and Withdrawal (Last week before departure).
Detachment may begin before the actual departure. There may be anger and emotional break-offs as people prepare for separation. It can be a time of mixed feelings, as one attempts to protect oneself from hurt by distancing, yet wants to make the most of the available time. At the beginning of this stage the spouse may experience the grief of loss. Detachment will also be a part of the whole separation time. It is the state of routine, day to day, living. ~ Hmmmmm...... I hope that I do not go through this! What an awful thing to be this way the last week together. I would th
ink that it should be a time to appreciate being together. Be thankful for those last moments. Not spend them being distant.

C. Stage Three - Emotional Disorganization (1-6 weeks into deployment).
Emotional disorganization can occur initially when the spouse attempts to make new routines and carry out their duties. Many spouses are depressed and withdraw from friends and neighbors, especially if the neighbors’ spouses are home. They often feel overwhelmed as they face total responsibility for family affairs. The disorganization soon passes, however, as the spouse recovers.

Important notes to remember during both stage two and three is take care of your and your children’s health. Shop and cook for healthy nutrition. Get plenty of rest and exercise. In addition, avoid trying to do everything all by yourself. Contact family, friends, neighbors, and spouses of other deployed Marines/Sailors whenever you need practical or emotional support. There are many other spouses in your unit family that are dealing with the same emotions and increased responsibilities that you are feeling. Often it helps just to talk to someone in the “same boat.”

Now this I understand a little more. I can see being depressed to begin with as you settle into a new pattern. You no longer have that significant other to rely on.

D. Stage Four – Recovery and stabilization (variable, between weeks 3 & 5).
Recovery and stabilization occurs as the spouse gets set into a routine and realizes they are doing fine. It is a time of increased confidence. A subconscious move from “we” to “me” has taken place at least to some degree. The spouse often refers to “my house,” “my car,” and “my kids.” Most spouses have a new sense of independence and freedom and take pride in their ability to cope.

E. Stage Five – Anticipation of return (6 weeks before return).
This is the “Oh boy! They’re almost home,” stage. With it comes excitement and anxiety. Some spouses become frenzied, as they rush around trying to make everything perfect for their Marine’s/Sailor's return. Many spouses start diets and pick up the pace of doing what ever it is they feel must be done before the Marine/Sailor returns.

Important notes to remember for stage five is don’t expect things to be perfect after the reunion. Consider setting aside quiet time during the first few days. Avoid planning a busy schedule of events. Even though reunion is exciting, it can be stressful, too. Changes may have occurred and you both will need time to adjust. He gained weight, she changed her hair, and the kids probably have grown. Another area to think about is the budget. There will be increased food costs and greater transportation costs.

F. Stage Six – Return adjustment and renegotiation (6 weeks after return).
Upon return to home the phase of adjustment and renegotiation of the relationship begins. The set of assumptions and expectations need to be reset, and reevaluated (fine tuned), to account for the changes that have occurred in the past 6 months or year. It may be a time of tension and fighting. This is, however, normal and to be expected. Communication is the key. Especially during stage six. Remember, open, honest communication can solve many problems or conflicts.

G. Stage Seven – Reintegration and stabilization (6-12 weeks after return).
The last stage is when reintegration of the family is complete and things have stabilized. The move from “me” (my house, my car, my kids) to “us” (our house, our car, our kids) is complete. The returning spouse is a part of the family again, and “normal” life resumes.

It will be interesting to see how how I handle the stages in the upcoming months.

Also in preparation I have been looking for creative ideas for care packages (besides the 'want' list Marine has already prepared for me). And things I can do that may help the days pass a little better for Marine.

  1. Jar full of inspiration: Fill a plastic jar full of inspirational messages to keep your soldiers hopes up. Put exactly the same amount of messages as days that he will be gone. On the front, put a message that says “Prescribed: Take one dose of inspiration each day.” ~ Super CUTE idea, that I will be sure to do!

  2. Send brochures about the places you want to go when he returns ~ In our case I'm going send honeymoon ideas :)

  3. Cake in a Jar ~ Sound interesting? YOU BET! I kept seeing this over and over so I had to look up the recipe. Definitely a cute idea I'll have to try.

  4. Over at the Army Wife Network they mention several ideas for themed packages. A cute one was: Hang in There! – stuffed animal monkey, banana bread, banana chips, banana pudding, monkey’s in a barrel game, card with a monkey on it.

I found many other great ideas, but thought I would limit the list to four.

Now also since Marine will be out of electronic range (i.e. no email or computers) I thought of a way to personalize or spice up our letter correspondence. Today I purchased a pre-deployment gift that I plan on giving Marine when he is home in February. The Kodak zx1 (on sale right now with Amazon). It's small, durable, weather proof and best of all takes 2 AA batteries. Perfect for middle of nowhere use. In the next few months I plan on purchasing one for myself as well. This we can take videos and mail the memory cards back and forth with the letters. It's nice getting love letters but how great will it be to get a video from him where I can actually see him as he talks to me telling me about his day? Or that I can send him video's of horse shows or other everyday events I will experience here.

I think it will be a great addition to letters.

Anybody else dealt with deployment? I would love to hear feedback, personal stories, etc! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Photo Shoot

Oh how I love days with the girls! This past week was hectic but Sunday things slowed down as I met up with Vixen, Blondie, Giggles, and Nurse Betty and we headed to another friends house for a photo shoot. Our unnamed friend dabbles a little in photography and talked us all into participating in a Valentine's day photo shoot.

Sexy lingerie and all.

This was something I had never done before and was more than just a little nervous when we arrived. But the fact that only my close friends were there seemed to ease my mind as we all began to got ready. Blondie went about fixing hair and applying make-up.

It was a fun day. I had a great time spending the day with some of my closest friends and hopefully some of the pics will turn into a great V-day gift!! Have to wait and see.

Chandler, "Guys, I need your help, I don't know what to get Monica for Valentine's Day."
Rachel, "Well, Valentine's Day was two weeks ago so I wouldn't get her a calendar!"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Never Stop Learning

You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

This goes against my Virgo nature entirely! I want to please all the people all the time. I can't help it. Maybe it's a genetic defect or something.

So a few weeks ago an opportunity arose to make some extra money. And right now I'm sure we all could use a little extra money. Thru a connection I have I sometimes get the opportunity to clean houses that have gone into foreclosure but are in the process of being purchased. Hollywood and I have went in together and have done a few jobs. We go in and clean the best we can (in that some of these houses are trashed!) and do our part in making the place look it's best for the soon to be owners. WE never actually speak to the new owners, we go in clean and get paid. It normally works well.

This time was a little different. The house had already closed and the owners asked my contact if they knew of anybody to do a pre-move-in cleaning. Hollywood and I were recommended. We go with the contact to check out the house. The house is in excellent condition and appears to be a breeze compared to the past houses. No trash to haul off, no cabinets to clean out - just clean, polish and shine. Seemed easy enough. But something in my gut told me not to take the job.

Hollywood and I cover exactly what is expected of us and due to the size of the house we set a price.

Several days pass and my contact confirms to me that Hollywood and I have the job.

Still I am filled with a sense of foreboding. But foolishly I push the feelings aside.

This past Saturday Hollywood and I arrived at the house a little before 9 a.m. and begin to unload the car. Once inside Hollywood sorts thru the cleaning supplies and I plug in the radio. I mean got to have music to keep up beat, right?

Like an unspoken agreement we know which areas are ours and I immediately begin to fill my bucket with a mixture of Murphy's Oil and water. First I vacuum out the cabinets and drawers and then I begin to scrub..... all 26+ kitchen cabinets. We work silently every once in awhile humming to the music or verifying that something has already been done. We mop, clean windows, dust light fixtures, polish doors, wipe down iron staircase rods............. and the list goes on and on and on.

Shortly after 3 I am finishing vacuuming out the last air vent as Hollywood puts the finishing touches on the kitchen counter. We turn off the water, drain the water lines (per instructions) and do a final walk thru. Everything looks spotless.

The nagging feeling I get deep inside is still present. As Hollywood loads the car I go thru the house again trying to reassure myself everything looks good. I admit to myself that it does, yet the feeling remains.

Yesterday Hollywood calls me and says the people are dissatisfied, and were very rude to her over the phone. She apologized and said that we have never had a complaint and of course we would make it right. She asks the husband and wife what was wrong. They begin to list things that were not discussed previously, mainly exterior stuff when it was made very clear upfront that we cleaned interior only. The only exception we had made when we gave them the quote was that we would clean the 2 decks and front porch of all leaves and debris. Which we did.

Hollywood tells them this and despite their rudeness apologizes for any confusion on our part and says we will return and complete the things on their list. Because it's obvious at this point they are looking for an excuse not to have to pay us.

The woman snidely remarks, "and the garage doesn't even look as if it were touched."

According to Hollywood she kept her calm, and reminded the woman that when we did the pre-walk thru she said just to sweep the out the garage if we had time, that it was no big deal it would get dirty again soon anyway. As if it were no big deal. Thankfully I could tell this lady would be a bitch so I swept the garage out - clearing out the dirt, grim, and leaves. Hollywood explains to her that we did sweep out the garage but again we are sorry she is dissatisfied and we will be sure to go over it again.

I perhaps take all this to personal. Because:
A) I have never had a bad job review
B) I am an over achiever

and also of course I hate that my contact recommended us and this may now reflect on them.

Sometimes it really helps to just vent.

I think that it is important that we never stop learning. And despite, or inspite, of this situation I have learned a few lessons:

1. Next time get the expectations/instructions in writing beforehand

2. Take before and after pictures so that the "he said - she said" part is eliminated and we will have proof of what the place looked life before we cleaned.

3. Always listen to your gut instinct..... from the get go my gut was telling me not to take this job. I just knew it. Normally I go with my instincts, from here on out I will try to ALWAYS go with my instincts.

And for my Virgo, people pleaser, can't stand negative feedback, wants to please everybody - personality.... well I don't think there is much I can change about that.
Ross, (About Chandler cleaning the apartment) "Look, Chandler, Monica is really weird about this kind of stuff. Believe me, I lived with her for sixteen years. She is going to freak out. Oh my God, she's going to sit on you."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sorry Just Had To Share

So last night I bartended at Sports bar (yeah it's been awhile), with one of my best guy friends. Early in the night before the crowd hit we were chatting catching up. He is telling me about his recent bday bash (I was sick and didn't get to go). And this made me laugh so hard I just had to share. Sounds like a comment off a TV show.

Girl, "I think you need to stop drinking."

Guy gives skeptical look.

Girl, "You know what happens when you drink to much."

Guy, "Yeah I like you alot better."

Maybe it's mean to laugh but it so sounded something like off of How I Met Your Mother or something!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Setting A Date & Buying a Dress

The date has been set: May 7, 2011.

Marine deploys here soon and will not return for 7 to 8 months, which puts us around Christmas time. We both have decided we want to get married outside, because we are both outdoor people. And he gets out of the Marines in March, and March is still part of the winter months here. April is normally a month of rain. So May will give him a few months to get settled and the first weekend in May will probably be the first warm weekend to be outside..... we hope.

It seems like forever away. Marine likes the idea because he says he plans on coming back from Afghanistan and me having everything planned. Which is apparently any groom's idea of the perfect wedding. I on the other hand want him to be involved. So we are trying to decide on all the major things before he leaves.

So this month while he is in California, I am trying to find locations for us to look at together when he comes home for a few short days before deployment.

Easier said then done. We will be paying for this, and have set a budget. Locations are not cheap and the pasture out behind the barn is starting to look better and better every time I look at a location and see the price tag.


But in good news, I bought a dress. Or perhaps I should say THE Dress. A little early, yes I know.

Earlier in the week I was bored at work and looking at David's Bridal. I see a dress that I had fallen in love with before when going dress shopping for a friend last year. It's on clearance. $99 dollar sale. Online only.

I debate. And toss the idea back and forth about ordering it. I consult with Vixen, Giggles, and Babbles, who help me come to the conclusion that if on Friday (yesterday) they still have the dress in my size I will order it.

The only problem is with online sales is that if you get it and it doesn't fit there are no refunds and no exchanges. I search Ebay and Craigslist though and decide if it doesn't fit my chances of reselling it seem pretty good.

Yesterday I search and there are only 3 sizes left available. One of those being my size. I take it as a sign and I enter in my debit card number and press order.

If it fits (fingers crossed hoping it will) I will be quite proud of myself for saving money and for getting my dress for under the budgeted amount.

I love it!! It is simple, but beautiful at the same time. Free flowing, and not to puffy. I'm not a puffy person.

Edie, "Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go and buy a wedding dress. Oh, and by the
way, I'll be wearing white, so that'll be a surprise for everybody

~ Desperate Housewives ~

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Must First Let Go Before You Can Ever Move On

Ex's have seemed to be a topic of conversation here lately for some reason. Maybe it's the whole new year thing, perhaps it makes people reflect on the past so as to prepare for the future. I'm not sure.

X and I are one good terms (well good as can be I guess), which I am thankful for. A few days after becoming engaged I even received a nice text from him saying something along the lines - Congrats! Marine is a great guy and I wish you both the best.

Yes, imagine my surprise.

But I am glad we can be on good terms. He has moved on. I have moved on. We are both happy, yet we recognize the fact that we shared nearly 8 years together. Most people would probably think it weird. Me, I'm just glad that we have reached a point we can be happy for each other. There is to much hate in the world already as it is. And life is to short to hold grudges.

Now I know that we are the rare few that actually can get along. And after all that we went thru there at the end just proves if we can get along anyone can.

So Vixen also got engaged recently (that is for another post) - when telling her of the text she was mildly surprised and this then ensued into a conversation about her ex.

I ramble. I say this to get to the point of my post on ex's.

About a month after Marine and I started dating I received a Facebook friend request from Marine's ex. At first I was a little surprised. It's a small town. I know her enough to say hi if I pass her somewhere but that's it. Being a considerable amount younger than me, she is not someone who I am very familiar with. I wonder if there is an alternative to the request and let it sit for a few days.

Marine and I at that point in our relationship had not really spoken of ex's - both agreeing the past was the past. The difference being he dated this girl less than 6 months before the relationship ended. It ended around the same time frame as my relationship with X did. {perhaps I should note that she was about 19 (him 21) when they dated and is now 21.... so yeah considerable amount younger than me}.

I finally decided to accept the friend request - Because well for

1. I never decline a friend request. I'm always afraid that if I do that person will be sent a message saying I declined them.....(will they?). Stupid yes, but that's me "Miss Never Wants To Hurt Anyone's Feelings."


2. I considered that perhaps it was a coincidence she sent me a friend request shortly after I had started dating Marine and that I was probably over analyzing it anyway.

So I accepted. She was dating someone else anyway(remember RC? My younger guy friend who thinks I'm his relationship guru?). And thanks to my friendship with RC I already knew more about their relationship than I preferred. Because even though I hardly know her I do know RC. And RC has called me anytime he has had any kinda of girl problem or girl question for about the past 3 years. Why he wants my advice I have no clue, but for him it always seems to work.

So a picture of her and RC is set as her profile picture. I click on her profile (as I usually do with any new friend) and I browse through her pictures. I was a little surprised to see that even though she had a new boyfriend (one of some time) and that it had been some time since the breakup, she still had several pictures of her and Marine posted.

I thought this odd because most people immediately delete the ex (or maybe that's just me). Shrug of shoulders. Oh well. I don't give it a second thought.

Fast forward a few months. Her and RC break up. RC calls of course and wants my advice. After many fights and this and that the relationship has ended. At this point I feel slightly uncomfortable. And then he drops the bomb telling me he thinks she is still hung up on Marine. I feel very uncomfortable at this point.

He confides in me the reasons she is (for lack of a better word) hard to be with. Then he wants to know why Marine and her broke up. Did she treat Marine the same way that she was treating him? [basically like dirt - from his side of the story anyway, but there are always 2 sides to every story]. Here is when I become extremely uncomfortable. I didn't know, nor did I want to know, all the in's and out's of this past relationship. I gave RC vague advice on how to win her back. Hoping that he would find another confidant. I value our conversations and the friendship RC and I have but we were friends dating ex's. One of which has no feelings for the other (Marine) and one who is suspect to still have feelings. New uncharted territory for me, and a one that I didn't plan on getting familiar with.

I tell RC that I'm not comfortable with this and that it's none of my business about Marine's past relationship. The past is the past for a reason. And that we (Marine and I) are focusing on the future and that he should do the same.

He loves her. He wants her back. I want him to be happy but at the same time I don't want involved. He asks for one favor. To see if she changed her relationship status on Facebook. RC didn't have a Facebook and in his twisted grasping at straws mindset he figured if she hadn't changed it he might still have chance.

I cave. It's a simple request. I log in. Her status has been changed to "single". I click on her pictures. Every single one of RC is gone. The albums, the profile pics. Everything. No trace of this recently ended relationship. Yet the pictures of her and Marine are still up.

I find this odd and wonder if RC is right. Marine knows of my friendship with RC, heck he has been sitting beside me in a range close enough to hear when RC has called needing advice. But I don't tell Marine what RC has said and I never mention the Facebook thing to him.

Why? Because I'm not a jealous person. And also I think at one time or another we have all been that girl. The one that holds on. The one that was dumped but hopes that one day he will come back. That he will realize the new girl he is dating is not what he's looking for and that he misses her. In her heart she holds on.

Yes, girls are crazy. But most of us have done this at least once I'm sure. Held on to something that wasn't there. So I understood her heartbreak at the fact Marine had moved on and I felt slightly sorry for her. I knew what it was like to realize that hope was gone. The advice I wanted to give her (that I wish someone had given me at one point in time) but couldn't was - that even though you now realize he has moved on and that your heart is hurting, everything happens for a reason. You to will be happy one day and thank God that it didn't work out.

But I couldn't tell her that.

Fast forward few months later.

I have not thought of her or the pictures.

I change my status on Facebook to engaged. This is followed by many friends new and old posting congrats.

Then I see her name. She has posted on my wall under my status change. "Congrats girl :)" it reads.

I haven't thought about her in months but at the comment I ponder about what went thru her mind when she first saw the status change. And I think of a guy from my past who I had a hard time of letting go and think of the feelings I would have felt if in her situation.

A few days go by and on the live feed her status has changed to in a relationship. I have not spoken with RC in months, which is not uncommon I only hear from him when he needs an ear to listen. And I think at our last conversation it was left unspoken that he would have to figure this one out on his own without my help.

Curiosity gets the best of me and I click on her name. I wonder who the new relationship person is. Like all things Facebook the answers are always written on the wall. Someone had asked her who the lucky guy was and she responded RC. They had worked things out. A smile crosses my face, and a feeling of pride as I realize that my young RC has grown up. Like a mama bird who sees her baby fly successfully out of the nest I know that RC has figured out how to fly on his own and that my help is no longer required.

But is she ready? I click on her pictures and see that she has finally deleted the ones of Marine.

She had let go. Now RC would get the fair chance from her that he so wanted and deserved. Will it work for them? I'm not sure. But the cycle of the life of a woman has changed for her. She has learned the important lesson that all woman have to learn in their own time: you must first let go before you can ever move on.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Right Ring, Right Guy

Remember the episode when Carrie finds the engagement ring in Aiden's bag? And then she promptly throws up? (If you don't watch the above clip).

Over breakfast she brings up the conversation....

Charlotte, "Your getting engaged!"

Carrie,"I threw up. I saw the ring and I threw up. That's not normal."

Samantha, "That's my reaction to marriage."

Charlotte, "What did the ring look like?"

Carrie, "That's the other thing. The ring was not good."

Miranda, "What do you mean?"

Carrie, "It was a pear shaped diamond......... with a gold band."

{Ew, Yuck, Gasps!}

Samantha, "No wonder you threw up"

Carrie, "It's just not me."

Then she goes on to say,

"How can I marry a guy who doesn't know which ring is me?"

Samantha, ".....Wrong ring wrong guy."

I bring this up because for some reason that has always stuck with me. Why I'm not sure. Wrong ring, Wrong guy. Leave it to Samantha to sum it up so nicely. It made me wonder if anyone has ever thought this in real life?? Did you ever wonder if someone was Mr. Right then he picks a ring that is so not you? Or is that shallow?

This does not apply to me, perhaps I should have already pointed that out. When Marine stood there holding that open ring box all I could think was how perfect it was. So in my case it's -- Right Ring, Right Guy. lol But seriously for some reason the next day this episode was in my mind.

Today so many girls actually pick out their own engagement rings, either subtly by dropping hints or by full fledged going shopping with the guy. The hint part.... *turn of head, thinking*..... I can understand that in away. But going and picking out your own ring? No, not for me.

Marine picked out the ring all on his own. No hints. No clues. Nada. It was a total surprise. And in all honesty that made it all the more special to me. The fact the he picked out a ring that is so me. It's simple, yet beautiful all the same time. The middle stone is not exceptionally large or gaudy, it is the perfect size for my small hand. Elegant and appropriate.

I'm simple, I don't wear much jewelry and would never feel comfortable with a huge, gaudy, eye catching ring. Does that make sense?

The fact he picked out the perfect ring to suit me and my personality, perhaps speaks something of itself.

His Mom told Giggles that he narrowed it down to four rings he liked and then he held them up side by side to see which one didn't stand up quite as tall. Why? Because he thought that if it sat up to high it would get in the way as I work at the barn, etc. He was looking for the perfect ring to suite my active lifestyle. The fact he put so much thought into it. How can a girl who picks out her own ring lose the insight of what the guy may have chosen for her? What if without her help he would have chosen the wrong ring? Would she still say yes? Or would she think, "Wrong ring, Wrong guy."?

My Right Ring, From My Right Guy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When the Clock Stikes Midnight Magic Can Happen

New Years eve I left work at 1 and once again started on, my seemingly monthly, eight hour journey to the coast.

The original plan was that Marine would be home for New Years. But the military likes to keep you on your toes and therefore tends to imply last minute changes.

A little past eight I arrive at the apartment and quickly change clothes for a night out on the town! Marine and I grab a bite to eat before traveling downtown to meet up with the rest of the boys. 7 guys and me..... where are my single girls when I need them? They always say they can't find any single guys..... **shake of head** -- anyway back to the story.

Downtown we go from one bar to the next, each one more packed than the last it seems. Despite the alcohol that seems to lace the air, I stay sober. Why? This would have been the perfect, fun, lets-go-out-and-drink night. Maybe it's a sign I'm getting older. Eh as long as your having fun who cares!

At the first bar I have a vodka redbull, which apparently vodka is cheaper than redbull these days because I swear it was straight vodka. A small glass size shot ready to knock me on my butt. I sipped carefully. Once the ice melted it was a no go. Hot vodka?? No. Nope. Don't think so. I swallowed as much as I could before relinquishing the glass to the counter and following the guys out the door to the next place.

As midnight drew near we headed for the last stop. A place I knew I would like instantly for it was named after my poison of choice - Rum Runner's - Dueling Piano Bar. Oh I do love a good rum runner.

Now go back to the name - Dueling Piano Bar - this would be a new experience. Marine ordered a Guinness for him and a Rum Runner for me and we quickly grabbed a table.

The Piano players were AWESOME!!! They played everything from classic rock, to country, to heavy metal.... to well anything and everything! Songs I would never have imagined could be played on the Piano.

As midnight neared and the countdown began Marine took me in his arms and kissed me as the clock struck 12. This was quickly shaping up to be my best new years ever. Relaxing and fun.

I go to the bathroom and when I return everyone is gone, except Marine who is sitting at the table waiting on me.

"They all decided to go down to Oliver Twist," he says answering the unspoken question.

I make a face. Been there, done that, not really worth the money to get in.

"Let's go walk down by the river..." he suggests as he takes my hand and leads me from the bar.

Every time I come up and we are in the historic downtown, we always take a walk by the river. I guess it has kinda become one of our things. As we leave the club we turn the block and walk the short distance down to the river, hand in hand.

I oooo and aaaaa at the beautiful scene before us as the lingering white Christmas lights glisten among the trees (if looking at the pic the river is to the right just out of the shot). Of course I stop and take a few pics before Marine laughing drags be by the hand. We enter the trees and stand by fence looking out over the river. There is a thin fog floating just on top of the otherwise still water. It's a perfect night.

Marine and I stand, arms around each other, talking softly - conversations I can't now remember. I am resting my head on his chest looking out at the water when he softly kisses the top of my head and tells me he loves me. I lean back and look up at him and tell him I love him to. He leans down and kisses me. I feel his left arm loosen as he pulls back. I open my eyes and there he stands holding a red box and within it is a sparkling ring.

One arm still around me holding me close, he asks while smiling, "Will you marry me?"

Now this is about as far as the fairytale goes, because lets face it I couldn't just leave it be could I??

I taken by surprise and I know I am grinning like a fool but what do I say to him??

"You have to get down one knee!" I laugh.

Yes that's right. This is really what I said.

He shakes his head and bends down on one knee. He laughs, "Now will you marry me?"

"Yes, YES! YES!!!!"

He rises still holding the box and grinning at me.

I hug him and he hugs me with one arm the other hand still holding the ring.

"You have to put it on my finger....." I whisper holding up my hand.

He slips his arm from around me and gingerly takes the ring from the box and slides it on my finger.

This was the happiest moment of my life. Funny I thought I had been happy before, but as I stood there it was as if the rest of the world didn't exist and it was just the two of us and for once I knew what real happiness felt like.

Of course I had to ask another couple walking by to take our picture (notice Marine holding his jacket..... you will get the story of it and it roll in the night in an upcoming - Engagement Blooper Post).

After this I excitedly called my mom, who already knew because Marine had asked her permission some time before. Then I called Giggles who screamed excitedly and thanks to the holiday wine was quite tipsy and became teary eyed by my good news.

After standing by the river and relishing in our new relationship status for a bit we both decided we were hungry. We walked up the block a ways till we came to Slice of Life, a local pizzeria that stays open late (picture of course taken during the day). Over pizza slices and a shared beer we sat by the window and celebrated our new engagement shortly after 1 a.m. on what was the best New Years Eve EVER.

I knew 2010 was going to be a good year!

Monica, "I'm engaged! I'm engaged! I'm getting married! I'm gonna be a bride!"

~ Friends ~

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year...... Old Posts?

Happy New Year everyone!! Even though it is only the 5th 2010 has started out to be an exciting year for me! But I will fill you in on all that later.

First to finish up some loose ends.

Ok, Ok so I have been horrible about posting lately. I start posts but then leave them unfinished and incomplete! Today has been clean up day. So I have a bunch of new posts up - all listed under the original day they were started.

Marine and my first Christmas together
Marine takes me on a surprise vacation
The vacation continued
The call you never want to get
In 2008 I wrote a letter to the year to let off steam and to try and leave all those feelings behind. I guess I decided this could be an annual thing and continued it this year.