all mixed up

12:51:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Luckily after not talking to Nick for 4 days I've heard from him 3 times in the last 2 days.  I love hearing his voice.  What I don't love is not knowing how I'll feel after his phone call. Sometimes it puts me in a great mood and sends me on a high for hours... and sometimes it makes me miss him even more than I already did.  It's completely unpredictable.  After his call this morning I'm feeling okay, but also feeling like it will be an eternity before he's finally home again.  It's only been 3 weeks since we said goodbye for the last time in Mississippi, and it feels more like 3 months.  

Tonight I'm going out with my friend Laurie for a much-needed girls' night.  Our husbands are in the same ARNG unit and deployed together right now.  It will be great to see her- I haven't seen her since our caravan home from Mississippi- but I'm also a little worried because we naturally talk about what we're going through.. and that is likely to make my weekend a little sad and depressing.  It's not that i don't love to think and talk about Nick, but sometimes it's easier to just forget what's going on right now.  At the same time it's nice to have someone to talk to that's going through the same situation... so we'll see how it goes.  Either way I LOVE Laurie, so I'm excited to see her!




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so. in. love.

8:52:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Warning: this post is going to be cheesy and full of me gushing over the amazing love I have for my husband, so if that kind of thing grosses you out quit reading now.

The bond that Nick and I share is incredible.  It's unlike anything I've ever experienced in life.  I've had best friends, I've had great friends... and I have a wonderful family that I can turn to for anything.  But nothing compares to the relationship I share with Nick.  There's no one I can talk to the way I can talk to him... there's no judgment, no criticism, no selfishness, and no ulterior motives.  It is pure, and magical, and perfect.  Whether I'm happy, or sad, or whiny, or proud, or frustrated, or anxious... he listens to me.  Really listens to me.  We've had our share of ups and downs (more than the average couple), but he's always there for me.  No matter where life takes us or what I do, I know he's there for me.  I can lean on him for anything and everything.

If there's anything good about spending most of your time away from your husband, it's that you forget about all the bad things in your relationship.  You forget about the little things they do that annoy you, you forget about any bad qualities they have, you forget about the trials and tribulations you've suffered, and you forget about anything bad they've ever put you through.  Instead you remember the comfort and safety of their arms around you, the way they look at you like you're the only person in the world that matters. and the unconditional love they have for you.  It's an amazing feeling.

The love we share is real.  It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been real.  Nothing in life would be the same without him, and I can't even imagine the last 6+ years without Nick in my life.  He has made me stronger, more independent, more loyal, more honest, and more me.  He brought out the person in me that was hiding for so long, waiting for the right moment to present myself to the world.  He makes me feel confident, motivated, ambitious, intelligent, and able to take on anything that life brings.  I feel so lucky that we found each other.

The next year is going to be hard, but we have our whole lives ahead of us.  We have a family, and goals, and dreams to look forward to.  When Nick and I are together, nothing can stand in our way.  We bring out the best in each other, and we're capable of anything.

I guess I should end this now, because I know there are a few people reading this and gagging right now.  But don't be jealous, because when you find what Nick and I have you'll value every word I've just written.

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spring is near

8:37:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Sometimes I forget why we bought this house instead of a larger house with a real backyard... and then I look out my bedroom window.



A-MAZING.

The sun was calling my name today, so the dogs and I spent our afternoon down at the lake.  The weather was perfect, and we spent hours walking the trail, swimming (the dogs, not me), and enjoying a peaceful Saturday.


I bought new harnesses for both of the dogs so that I could actually enjoying walking them, instead of being pulled to all of our destinations.  They worked quite nicely, and even though the dogs weren't big fans of wearing them they walked like obedient little angels today.  It was worth every penny.

                                      

You could almost smell Spring around the corner, and that alone put a smile on my face.  I cannot wait for a long relaxing summer at my little lake house.


                                      

Everything about the afternoon was completely magical, and would have been a perfect day had we not been missing one very important thing... Nick.  At times I feel like I couldn't miss him more, and then I do.  I wanted to share the peace and serenity of this day with him, but instead I had to dream of the day he comes home so that we can go back to enjoying lazy weekends together.  


While we were still living in the apartment and spending long hours every day remodeling our new house, we would often take breaks to walk down to the lake for a picnic lunch.  We would sit by the water and imagine our future together, and dream of the day we could bring our little ones down to play in the water.



By this time next year, I hope my hands are holding a stroller instead of dog leashes.  I dream of our perfect little family spending long days by the lake, having picnic lunches and splashing in the water.  Until then I will appreciate the quietness of spending the afternoons with our dogs.



P.S. I'm spending my evening watching The Notebook for the 1,387,462nd time.  I don't know what it is, but I become glued to the tv every time it's on.  And I own the DVD.  I've never seen anything as many times as I've seen The Notebook.  I love every minute of it.  Some might call it an obsession, but I like to think of it as proof that I can appreciate a good love story (even though it has nothing on me & Nick).

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In case you haven't heard...

10:14:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I'm a freaking nurse.  Licensed by the state of Tennessee.  I push meds like candy, I stick tubes in any place I can find, I'm responsible for lives (& narcotics), I chart millions of words a day, and I sign my name with two beautiful letters behind it.

It's a great feeling.

In all seriousness, I'm loving my job as a registered nurse.  Everything's coming together, and I see the difference I make in patients' lives every day.  I feel independent, responsible, and like I've finally made something of myself.  I guess it's about time after 5 years of school and 2 Bachelors degrees.  I have a career... a REAL career.  And a paycheck that can pay the bills with plenty to spare (it doesn't hurt that the government pays well when your husband is sitting in a war zone for the next year).  I'm proud to be a nurse, and I'm proud because I'm a great nurse.  I still have a lot to learn but I've mastered the most important skills- really listening to my patients and their families, providing comfort and security, and bringing smiles to their faces when they're going through terrible pain and suffering (and sometimes just a lot of whining).  I don't ever want to forget why I chose the career I did, or become so burnt out that I lose the compassion for others that I feel every day in the hospital.

To sum it up, being a nurse ROCKS.

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another day down

9:30:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Nick has made it safely to his second destination overseas.  They lost a day traveling, which as he put it is a good thing because it means he's one day closer to coming home.  The time zone difference is significant, and an adjustment for both of us.  It makes it a lot harder to communicate around my work schedule.  I'll only be hearing from him every few days for the next couple of weeks until they get settled at their main base.  I'm hoping that communication will be more often after that, but it will all depend on the frequency and length of their missions.  For now I'm just glad to know that he is safe and comfortable... and closer to coming home every day.

Here is a photo Nick took while they were still working hard in Mississippi:


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love is in the air

8:55:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Nick surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Valentine's Day.


It was a much appreciated addition to an otherwise uneventful day.   The day after Valentine's Day was also special for us, as it marked our 6-month anniversary of being married.  6 months down, a lifetime to go.

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alone, not lonely

9:51:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

"Dear John for 1 adult please."


That's right, I spent my afternoon at the movie theater watching the highly anticipated Dear John.  There's something extremely liberating about doing something meant for couples/groups all alone.  I bought a large cup of coffee and sat in between rows and rows of happy couples celebrating Valentine's Day early, and I didn't mind at all (I did, however, make sure to flash my ring a few times to the rows behind me).

Since Nick joined the military I'm not afraid to go out to dinner alone, spend an evening at the movie theater alone, or just be alone.  I have my moments, but for the most part I really enjoy the peace and independence I feel when I'm out in the world by myself.  I can think of a lot worse things in life to complain about... like the movie itself.

I read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks months ago, and I've been counting down the days until the movie release ever since.  The book was amazing.  Because The Notebook was done so well, I really had high expectations for this movie.  I loved the story, and loved the actors, and I thought I would have no choice but to love the movie.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  I found every minute of it disappointing.  I have to wonder how I would have felt about it if I hadn't read the book, as always.  I still haven't recovered from the ending... or the lack thereof.

As expected a few moments in the movie hit a little too close to home, and as a result I left the theater in a weird and depressed mood.  Naturally I stopped at Target on the way home to buy a little happiness back into my life, but that also failed.  One trip through the baby aisle and past a few happy couples with their young children and I was in a worse mood than when I started.

After a warm Lean Cuisine meal, a long phone call from my husband, and a visit from my friend Jim Beam, I'm doing much better :)

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happy ♥ day!

1:11:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments


my 1st care package for Nick!



happy Valentine's day to my amazing husband!

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I'm okay.

7:22:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

It's amazing the difference a day can make.  My Sunday has been busy getting back into the routine of everyday life.  There was laundry to be done, floors to be cleaned, and errands to be run.  I've also spent a good majority of today making my first care package for Nick to celebrate Valentine's Day.

It wasn't that I didn't miss Nick today- I always miss him when he's gone- but I didn't let it consume every minute of my day.  I focused on myself, and tried to ignore my aching heart as much as possible.

My career as an RN officially begins tomorrow.  I am finally done with all of the general company and nursing orientation, and will start my first day on the floor at 7am.  I'm a little nervous and anxious because it's been so long since I've worked in the hospital (my last clinical was Nov 14!), but mostly I'm excited.  A part of me never thought I'd get to this point, because the last year has been so challenging.  I never doubted that I would do well in nursing school, but I doubted I would survive our first year in the military.  But here I am, ready to face anything and everything thrown my way head on.  I can survive anything- WE can survive anything- and the more challenges we face together, the closer and stronger we are.

I can do this.  I'll never stop missing Nick or counting down the days until he comes home, but I will survive our first deployment.  Every day will get a little better than the day before, because I will be one day closer to being with my husband again.  Whether we endure one deployment or twenty, we will make it.





"It's not going to be easy.  It's going to be really hard.  And we're going to have to work at this every day.  But I want to do that because I want you.  I want all of you, forever, every day."  ~the Notebook

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one day at a time.

9:31:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

This is by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do.  I said goodbye to my husband today knowing that I am sending him off to war, and won't be seeing him again for 10 months.

I don't even know if there are words to express how I'm feeling right now.  Part of me feels like spending the next year without him is impossible, but part of me knows that I can do this... and 10 months really isn't that long when you're going to spend the rest of your life with your best friend.  Either way I'm sad, a little depressed, and can't wait to start counting down for his return.

The initial goodbye this morning was awful.  It was emotional, painful, and something I wish I could go the rest of my life without ever experiencing again.  But after the first few hours of my long ride home I was doing better... I was focused on getting home, and putting this horrible day behind us.  But then I picked the dogs up from boarding at the vet.

I don't know what happened.  I talk to the dogs a lot when Nick is away, so on our ride home I told them that he said hey and he missed them... just like he asked me to do.  I think at that very moment reality set in.  I realized I was only a few miles away from my lonely home in Nashville, and back to a life of just me and the dogs in a cold, empty house.  I cried uncontrollably for a while, and continued to break into tears for the next few hours.

Now that it's getting late and the day is almost over, I'm a little better than before.  I still wish that this wasn't our reality right now, but I am so proud of everything he does.  I'm ready to get back into my routine and a steady social life with my TN girls, and I'm ready to focus on my new career as a registered nurse.  As I've said before, distractions are invaluable.

I know I will be crying myself to sleep tonight and remembering just 24 hours ago when I was comforted by his arms around me, but I hope tomorrow is better.  I hope that it only takes a short time to get over the events of today.  I hope that 2010 flies by, but most of all I hope that my husband is returned home safely.  I can survive without him for 10 months, but there's no way I could survive the rest of my life without him by my side.

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