just in case

10:28:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

As you can see I've changed the url of my blog.  More people have found their way here lately, which is great, but I don't feel safe using my full name anymore.  When I first chose that link I had yet to decide on a title for my blog, and my name was an easy choice at the time.  I never intended on leaving it that way for so long, but I never got around to changing it.  I don't want to be anonymous by an means, but I also don't want to broadcast myself in a way that I might regret.

For everyone out there reading, THANK YOU!  I started this blog as a therapeutic way to deal with the changes and challenges of life, but I do get satisfaction from sharing my thoughts with the world.  If you stop by, please leave a comment.  I'd love to connect with more people, especially my fellow military spouses.  We can use all the support we can get.  Since I don't have an active base nearby, I've found the internet to be a great way to connect with people that understand what I'm going through.  And if you have a blog of your own, please leave a comment with your link.  I'd love to read it!


my heart hurts

12:03:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

This deployment is a daily struggle... and right now I'm losing miserably.  I can't go one second without thinking of Nick, and missing him terribly.  I've been crying myself to sleep every night.  I've managed to keep my days busy, but my nights seem to get lonelier and lonelier.  If I close my eyes I can actually feel his arms around me, and the touch of his lips on my neck.  I try to put a brave smile on my face every day, but it's getting harder and harder.  I know I've got 8 1/2 more months to survive without him, but some days I don't know how I'm going to do it.

Nick is my rock.  I turn to him for everything.  It's hard for most people to understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped from your life for an entire year.  I'm still learning what it feels like every day.  I hate not being able to share the little details of my day with him, and I feel like we're missing out on so much together.  Weekly conversations with poor call reception can't begin to compare to sharing our lives together.  I know we have a lifetime to look forward to together, but sometimes I want that lifetime to begin now.  I'm trying my best to speed through 2010 with a bright red cape flowing from my shoulders, but it's all just an act.  The truth is, I can't live without him.  He makes me whole, and makes every day of life worth living.

As bad as I feel right now, I can't imagine my life without him.  I can't imagine what kind of person I would be, or how miserable I would be, if I didn't know that he'd be coming home to me by the end of the year.  Everything is so much better when he's here.

To all the single ladies out there, I hope you find you're Prince Charming.  Because when you do, you won't remember what life was like before you met him.


spring has sprung

7:41:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

I celebrated the start of Spring by finally renovating our patio.

This is what our sad, pathetic patio has looked like for the last 7 months:

When we first bought this house it was completely over-run with a jungle of huge trees, 4-foot tall weeds, and dead flowers.  Nick and the in-laws spent an entire weekend digging everything out (of course I was there to supervise), and we were left with an empty, barren, uninviting outdoor space.

Now that the air was warm and the sun was shining, and we had a little money in the bank account to make my visions a reality, I decided the first day of Spring was the perfect day to get to work.  It was long overdue.  After a long day of digging and sweating, I'm pretty proud of my work in progress:

I added stone pavers to edge the patio, a few azaleas and tomato plants, tiki torches, and mulch.  I also refinished the patio chairs we've had for years.  It's amazing what a can of spray paint can do.

There's still a few things left to do, but luckily there are months of beautiful weather to come.  I want to build a fence around the ridiculously loud AC unit, buy new patio furniture, add more plants and lattice to the cinder block walls, and buy a new gas grill (Nick may appreciate charcoal flavor, but I am way too impatient for that).  

Nick will be shocked to learn that I really do understand the concept of a shovel, and can handle supervising and working at the same time.  Actually, I think I might just tell him I hired someone.  I don't want him to expect too much when he gets home.

After a long day of intensive labor I expected to wake up with sore, aching muscles. What I was not prepared for was the bloating, cramping, and always unwelcome AF that also greeted me at 8am this morning.  Not the way I want to start any day of the week.  I know I've always been a little vague about it, but Nick and I tried to get pregnant all of last year with no success.  I've hated this time of the month even more ever since.  It used to mean an inevitable end to a week of negative pregnancy tests, followed by a morning (or often an entire day) of tears and disappointment of another failed attempt at starting a family.  Now that I know I'm not pregnant long before the dreaded day comes, it has still remained a loathed day in this house.  Now I almost feel like my period is mocking me every month, reminding me that I have a long time to wait and many more months of disappointment before any little Armstrongs will be running around our house.  Thank you, Eve.  And just for the record, we're still not friends.

I was hoping to show off my hard work by inviting friends over for a cookout today, but along with my other surprise this morning was rain.  A LOT of rain.  Now it really does feel like Spring.  


I don't get it

12:56:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I don't think I will ever understand women that cheat on their husbands while they're deployed.  For a long time I didn't give myself too much credit because I hadn't really experienced their situation, but now that I have a good 3.5 months down (according to the loathed Donut of Misery) with my husband far away I think it's safe to say I will NEVER understand it.  I don't miss the companionship or touch of a man, I miss the companionship and touch of MY HUSBAND.  I know it's impossible for any man to compare to Nick, and I don't plan on testing that belief.  It would be wonderful to fall asleep in his arms, or wake up next to him in the morning...  but I wouldn't enjoy one minute of being with anyone else.  I am truly, madly in love with the man that I married, and no one could take his place.  Sure, deployments are hard, and being strong when your husband is away seems impossible at times, but nothing could ever drive me to someone else.  ANYONE else.  Brad Pitt could throw himself at me tomorrow, and I wouldn't even blink (not to mention he's not nearly as hot since he left Jen for Angelina).  If you cheat on or leave your significant other while they're honorably fighting for our country, don't give us the sad story of a lonely woman left on the homefront.  Many of us have done it, and we don't have sympathy for you.  Whether my husband is at work 5 miles down the road or halfway across the globe, I will always be faithful.  Screw the weak cheaters that give military wives a bad name and make our husbands worry themselves sick at night.  My life will never include a Jody or a Dear John letter.


let it out

12:45:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Sometimes you just need to cry.  Of course most men will never understand this, and if they did I think there would be a lot less violence and turmoil in our world (not in a feminist women-should-be-allowed-on-the-front-lines kind of way, just an everyone-needs-to-cry-sometimes kind of way).


jinxed again

11:52:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

As usual I've managed to jinx myself.  I was just bragging to Nick and my mom about how well I was handling everything... I was going on and on about accepting things you can't change and making the best of them, like having your husband on the other side of the world months away from coming home.  I talked about staying busy and happy, and that this deployment wasn't as bad as I thought it would be- and I truly believed that at the time.  It WAS going great, I WAS doing well, and I felt so confident that the next 9+ months would be gone before I knew it.  I was so happy, and enjoying every minute of life.

It always amazes me how quickly things change.

I've found myself cuddling on the sofa with my dogs tonight and crying for hours.  Well, not really crying, but being sad and lonely with tears in my eyes.  I miss him so much right now it hurts.

I'm sad that he's not sitting on the sofa next to me... I'm sad that he won't be here tomorrow to garden in the patio and enjoy the beautiful Spring sun... I'm sad that I ate a lonely meal at one of our favorite little diners all alone today... I'm sad that he won't even recognize our house when he gets home... I'm sad that it keeps getting longer and longer before we'll start a family... I'm sad that Summer, and our anniversary, and my birthday, and Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and so many special events in between will be spent without him.  I'm just sad... REALLY sad.

I'll be fine tomorrow, and once again back to thinking that this deployment and the military life ahead of us is no big deal.  Being an Army wife is emotionally draining, to say the least.  I never know how I'll feel from one day to the next.  I'm currently reading Under the Sabers, the book behind the tv show Army Wives, and I'm sure that's not helping my mood much today.  I was hoping to find it inspirational and positive, but instead it's been all too real to enjoy.  It also reminds me how much I wish I had more of an Army support system here.  The National Guard sucks.  All the same hardship and challenges that an Active Duty family faces, without the support and resources that a base offers.

When people that have no ties to the military find out that your husband is deployed for the next year, they look at you like someone has just died.  I know they mean well, but they don't make it any easier.  If one more person asks me if I'm scared something will happen to Nick while he's gone, I might just scream.  No, actually I try not to think about it, but thanks for reminding me that my husband could die before our 1 year anniversary.  Was I the only one taught to think before I speak?  I'd much rather people respond by acting like I'd just said my husband was on a short business trip, or golfing with friends for the weekend.  I don't want to dwell on the situation any more than I have to, so please don't make me.  If I want to talk about how much it sucks to talk to your husband through bad internet reception one day a week, and sometimes forget every detail of their face without studying a picture, I'll be sure to let you know.

Yesterday I was sitting around thinking about Nick when I realized that I miss fighting with him.  I don't know that I miss the huge blowout fights that defined our relationship years ago, but I do miss the frequent arguments over trivial insignificant things.  I think that's when I realized that my longing for him had reached a whole new level.  I just miss every little thing... the good and the bad.  And I miss my best friend.


ugh, Sunday.

9:50:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I don't know what happened to the lazy, peaceful day I used to look forward to every week, but I've begun to hate everything about Sundays.  When Nick was in BCT Sunday marked another week off of the countdown, but now they are a sad reminder that another week has ended and I don't feel any closer to Nick coming home.  Sundays represent another week down, and too many more weeks to come without him.  I hate being alone on Sundays, and I hate knowing that there is a lot of loneliness to come in the next 9 months.  I know he'll be home again soon, but it just doesn't feel soon enough.  He is everything to me.

I'm tired of living through the small, insignificant moments of life without anyone to share them with.  I'm tired of the weekly conversations we have that never seem long enough.  I'm tired of "getting used to" him being gone, and I'm tired of forgetting what it's even like when he's not away.

According to the loathed Donut of Misery, we've made it through 25% of this deployment.  Not too bad, but it still makes me want to throw my computer through a window.  If he was coming home tomorrow, it wouldn't be soon enough.

I need him here with his arms wrapped tight around me, reminding me that he is safe and sound.  I need his friendship and a shoulder to lean on.  I need to know that the rest of my life won't feel like it does now.

But since I can't have everything I want right now, I will focus on the good things.  I will enjoy every minute of every conversation we have, and I will celebrate every day that we make it through this deployment.  I'm so lucky to have him at all, even when he is on the other side of the world.  At least I know he will be back home again someday.  I can't wait to lay on a beach somewhere gazing at the stars together, just as we've always done.  I can't wait to hear the door knob turn signaling his arrival home from work.  I can't wait to share quiet dinners together and long morning lying in bed talking about our dreams and future.

I don't just love him... I adore him and everything he's done for me.  He has made me who I am, and I couldn't be more grateful.


march is here!

11:14:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

My St. Patty's Day care package is done and on its way to Nick!

March is here... which means Spring is on its way and I'm 1 month closer to Nick coming home.  3 months down, 9 to go.  

He's finally settled in to the base he'll be at for the rest of this deployment.  I've been patiently waiting for him to have internet access for so long, but so far it's been a disappointment.  He was using a Magicjack phone for a few days, but we got terrible reception and our calls always cut out every few minutes.  It was worse than the phone reception in Mississippi, which says a lot.  We've always planned on using Skype as our primary communication while he was deployed, but we haven't had much luck with that either.  The first call we could talk fine but had no video, and since then we haven't had luck talking either.  I can only hear the first few words of his sentences, which is ridiculously frustrating.  I really thought we had it all figured out today and made a video date for noon today.  I woke up early to shower and get pretty for his call, and when it finally came (2 hrs later than expected), I couldn't hear anything he said and once again we had no video.  I could have screamed.  I spent a total of 4 hours sitting in front of the computer, and never even really got to have a conversation with him.  We exchanged a few emails, but it's not the same.  If you have any advice on getting Skype to work, please share!

I had a great week at work, and I'm crossing my fingers that next week goes just as well.  I built amazing relationships with my patients, and got great satisfaction from the appreciation they shared toward me.  I also got great feedback from my coworkers, manager, and nursing students that were on the floor, so that definitely made my week even better.  I really do love being a nurse, and I pride myself on the extra effort and hard work I put into my job everyday.  Nursing is stressful and crazy at times, but in the end its all worth it.  

I ended my week the way every week should end- with a mexican dinner date with Katie.  We met for a late dinner last night at Camino Real, and then she came back to my house to help unload my new 47" LED LCD for the living room.  It's HUGE... and wonderful :)  It was so nice to have Katie here, even though I think she had more fun with my dogs than me!  They were definitely glad to have her here.

I've done quite a bit of shopping this past week for our house... I bought a new coffee table, end table, tv stand, bookcase, and flatscreen for the living room.  I've also bought a few odds and ends for the house, and a LOT of things for Nick's upcoming care packages.  I probably have more fun making them than he does receiving them, but I'm okay with that.  I've spent a lot of money, and I'm still a little shell-shocked about the price I paid for our tv, but I love the changes that are happening around here.  It's about time.  It's nice to have a house that looks more like a home than a college dorm room.  Needless to say, I don't plan on spending much outside of groceries and necessities for the next few weeks.

(and yes, that is The Incredibles you see on the screen.  I can't think of anything I'd want to watch more on my new TV)

I find myself spending a lot of time these days sitting on the patio and daydreaming about the future.  I love to dream of walking through parks and cities all over the world with Nick, and sitting around our home watching our children grow with amazement and pride.  I know I shouldn't rush through life and wish for tomorrow, but now that we're finally financially stable I can't wait to start our family.  I know we're ready, and I know it's going to be an amazing journey.  Of course my dreams aren't always realistic and often leave out the stress and chaos of life, but that's why they call them dreams.

I'm going to go to bed now and dream of warm summer nights sitting on the beach and gazing at the stars with the love of my life.  Hey, a girl can dream :)