Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's been a day or two

So apparently neither Jess nor I have updated this thing in a few days so I figured I would...why not?  We just got back from Easter at my parent's house in ATX. Even though we weren't at our home, the Easter bunny did manage to find us and bring us each a gift. We did have quite an unexpected surprise during the church service. In the middle of the service, my phone started buzzing in my pocket.  I glanced at it and it had a 512 number so I automatically it was another call for the previous occupier of my number who still call and text regularly even though I inform them they have the wrong number.  A few seconds later my phone started buzzing again. Jess noticed and happened to look at her phone to see that the same number had been trying to call her as well.  That's when it hit us...them dang dogs! We had put our dogs in my parent's backyard with their dogs before we left.  I had slightly blocked the gate to keep them from sneaking out, but they were obviously undeterred in their quest for mischief anytime they're left to their own devices in any backyard.  I texted this random number and had our fears confirmed that they had escaped but were noticed by some friendly neighbors up the road.  I had to sneak out and drive back to the house to get them.  Thankfully it was three siblings who found them and were more than generous to get them back to us immediately.  The dogs were, of course, happy as could be to meet new people and then see me pulling in the driveway.  All in all, the day was a success and both hounds are passed out cold right now.

So yea, maybe we'll do better about updating this thing from time to time now.  Only time will tell!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6 weeks

Trace and I had a enlightening moment on the phone recently.  We decided that he was six weeks from coming home... and upon further contemplation, we decided that we have only been in the same city for 6 weeks since we have been married. If that doesn't put this short time into perspective, I don't know what will.  When we first found out about Trace's deployment, he was certain that he would be home by his birthday - June 23rd. However, it is looking like we won't be seeing Trace stateside until mid-July.  That might as well be tomorrow!!!

I had a psycho moment this week and made Trace promise that he wouldn't surprise me and come home early.  (I have been watching a lot of surprise videos from the .. and it made me nervous) I justified this ridiculous 'rule' by stating that for 8 months I have been envisioning him coming home.  I have my outfit picked out, a first meal in mind, a vision of us meeting at the airport.. and if he surprises me, there is no guarantee that his birthday presents will be wrapped or that sully will be bathed or that any of my other plans will actually come to fruition.  Obviously, I would get over all of these issues in a heart beat, but I have been thinking about his coming home since the day he got his orders for deployment -- that is longer than the time I had to plan our wedding(s).   

Anyhow, the countdown is already on!  His specific date of arrival back in the US is TBD, but it will be in July... and I couldn't be more excited!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

since he's been gone

i got all wrapped up in the idea of catching everything, honeymoon, wedding again, honeymoon again, trace leaving... and just felt overwhelmed about doing all those monumental things i just decided to skip it!

here we are 1.5 months away from Trace coming home and I'm shocked at how quickly the time has gone by.  Don't get me wrong, it seems like eternity since I've smooched his face, but when he left I never imagined making it to April..and now here we are in May! 

Since he's been gone..

Jessica, Austin & Travis took on Disney and Trav's 21st Bday.

We talked in this format.
Dad and Rachelle got hitched in Crawford.

Valentine's Day Surprise - Sully's favorite

1st semester of grad school dominated - despite Sully's protest.

The packing began.

Sully and his flop ear disapproved.

The boxes relocated.

Austin and Travis brought the party to Schertz!

Sully eventually decided he should protect this house/ freak out about all doorbell-like sounds... apparently, he has never heard such a noise before!

My new job required that I wear this obnoxious ear piece.  I attribute my future cancer to it.

Our wedding photographer finally came through and gave us something we paid for!


Sully love love love love loved his new back yard.  He pretty much swims in the grass!

I electrocuted shocked myself and then spent countless hours and took multiple trips to Lowe's to resurrect our ancient dryer! 

The last 6 months have been busy... and not so busy.  When I think about starting/dominating grad school, getting a new job and moving to a new house it seems like I should be too busy to count the days until Trace comes home.  But it is kind of sad doing all those things on your own.  Trace has gone out of his way to be present in my daily activities.. he wakes up at all hours of the night to call me after my work shifts and would have telekineticly moved boxes if he could!  He has been more than supportive and all too understanding when I call freaking out about minutia.   But... here we are... I'm half way moved in and he's 30 days from leaving Afghanistan.

I wasn't sure how this whole process would go, but I'm overall pleased.  Thank goodness for Steve Jobs and iMessage because Trace and I can pretty much "text message" all day.  However, we are only able to Skype (see eachother's face) if Trace wakes up in the middle of the night, when no one else is using his bandwidth.  Overall, I would say we have been lucky and I feel like he is safe.  That provides a peace I never thought I would get while he was gone.  

I have 2 weeks off until summer school starts, so I have no reason not to unpack the rest of these boxes!  I'm hopeful that the next month will fly by!  I can't wait until Trace gets home and we can really get this married life started!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Those Baby Wipes are MINE!

Well it again has been a whole minute since I've updated this thingy so please forgive me. I am over half way done with my deployment which means I'm coming up on the home stretch and will be home with my amazing and gorgeous esposa before too long. Some days it seems like time is flying by and other days not so much. I am very grateful to be stationed where I'm at (even though I can't say exactly where I am on here) and be working with this group of soldiers. They are a great group and have adopted myself and Doyle (my other AF commrade) with open arms. The CRNA, Capt Larson, who was with us when we arrived has already gone home since he only has to do a 90 day rotation and his replacement has arrived. That alone is motivation to become a CRNA and also join the reserves. Capt Larson was an excellent mentor and friend to me and I am proud to say I served with him.

We have received some incredible care packages from so many people. Shout out to my sister and her student council kids for sending us 7 care packages and enough easy mac to last us a whole month as well as baby wipes coming out of our butts...wait, that came out wrong...but they did send us a generous supply of baby wipes. You might be asking yourself why on earth we'd need baby wipes. Well the TP here is known as John Wayne grade TP and since John Wayne never took shit from anyone, well neither does this TP. Compound that fact with also running out of paper de toilette for three days and you quickly grasp the reason for such excitement about baby wipes. Although scavenging the entire base for TP was an adventure in itself, I'm happy to have a secure stockpile of cushy tushy!

Since our patient census has been low and slow, we find ourselves with ample free time. We do some sort of medical training every day, but there comes a point when you have to do other stuff to occupy the time. Well we workout everyday and we have five shelves of supplements between all the people in our FST so you'd be right to call us a bunch of meatheads. Some of these guys would probably take that as a compliment even. I have tried to find different ways to serve my time. I started brushing up on my espanol un poco with Rosetta Stone but found it pretty hard to do with nobody to speak spanish with here. I have successfully read the first book of the Hunger Games series and am finishing up the second book now with the third one on the way. Recently I've started growing grass. Yep, that's right...grass. Fescue to be exact. My parents sent me some potting soil and fescue seed so I built me a little 15"x 24" box and have started growing my own little lawn. Today I got my first little blade of grass too! My goal is to grow some bluebonnets once all the grass grows in and I already have some bluebonnet seeds so expect some great pics when it's all said and done.

The biggest thing I've learned so far is something I already knew but get to experience every day and that is how incredible my wife is. She has gone house hunting and found us a new place to live. We are gonna have our own house! We're renting it but now Sully can have himself a backyard and we won't have elephants for neighbors living above us and bedrooms for all our peeps when they come to visit. Jess has also started her new job at Methodist Stone Oak and will be running their ER in no time, all the while setting the curve on every test so far in her patho class! Yea she's that good!!! I get to talk to her each night and it is the absolute greatest part of my day, every single day. Hearing her voice is my motivation every day. It's also given me a whole new appreciation for being with her when we're together. We had talked about how this deployment would make us enjoy our time together even more before I left and so we savored every second together. Now I can't wait to see her again and be by her side. She is the most amazing person and I love her more than I ever knew you could love somebody (and no you can't chalk this up to us being newlyweds, I just love her that much). And she's incredibly HOT ;)

I leave you with a pic I took of the Flag of the State of Texas being flown over base. What a site that was to see! I'm also known as the guy from Texas around base now...I'll take it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Callin up dinosaurs

Well I am completely settled in my base and my room. The first couple of weeks were spent getting acquainted with everyone and everything, learning the ropes, and getting settled in our rooms. My room has a pretty nice set up now. I opted for more of an open floor plan so I built some shelves to stack all my crap on instead of filling the floor with it. Apparently RUS's (rodents of unusual size) are not just found in the fire swamp of The Princess Bride, but also in Afghanistan so the more things kept off the floor, the less temptation these varmint have to come to your room for investigation. The only things on my floor are the feet to my bed frame, desk, and shelves. Yes mother, you taught me well!

Mail is hit or miss. Supposedly people have sent some letters, but I have only received one letter from Kayman. On the flip side, packages seem to be harder to lose. On the days we get mail, which is usually 3-4 days a week, there are always packages but very few letters. So if you are one of the authors of the supposed letters and you haven't heard from me, please know that my lack of response is entirely on purpose and definitely not because I haven't received them. I also have lost my sarcastic abilities. Since the FST I am with is a reserve unit from Ohio, a couple support groups up there have rosters of our unit and send us care packages. I have receieved three care packages from these groups and they are very nice. It's amazing how a package from a total stranger that I'll probably never meet can boost your morale. If you ever have a chance to buy a package or pay for one to be mailed to the troops where ever or whoever they might be, I strongly urge you to do to it. However, getting mail from my amazing WIFE has been the greatest thing since being here! And the package from my momma was awesome as well.

In terms of patients, we haven't been very busy, but this is expected as there is very little going on during the cold season. We've had one trauma patient, but he was okay and we got him on a flight to a larger facility within 55 minutes of him coming through our door. Other than that we train, train, and train some more so that we can be as best prepared for the worst of scenarios as possible. We coordinate our trainings with the German med team and all the medical people on base and actually have a good time doing it. It's a great group of guys here so we'll be able to perform well with whatever is thrown our way.

Now for the important wife is HOT! And she's probably shaking her head, blushing, and thinking to herself "oh my gosh" right now. I love her! She's amazing!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cue the Superman Music!

Hello! Well I've made it to Khilagay...finally! I spent two week in Bagram just trying to catch a flight to Masari Sharif, but due to weather and other circumstances I had to wait a while. Oh well, I made it! Khilagay is MUCH nicer than expected, we have good internet, free phones, decent food, and all the buildings are heated. I was given the impression it was going to be very different from what it actually is like. Jess and I get to email and text and talk regularly which is the greatest thing about this place. The people are cool and work very well together. We haven't had any patients yet, but that's not unexpected because not a lot goes on during the cold season. I'll try to add some pictures of the scenery around here, it's actually pretty nice. Anyways, this is just a short note but y'all stay safe and feel free to remind my wife how beautiful she is...b/c she is!

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's been a while

Well it's been quite a while since I updated this blog. In the interim, I have spent a month at Ft Dix, NJ for the greatest training of my life. I did so much stuff to prepare for this deployment that I won't ever have to use, not even the day after never. It was only a little bit frustrating but oh well, it's over and I will never do it again. Fortunately, Jess got to come up to NJ and spend a week with me. We went to NYC with the fam and did quite a sizable amount of damage. We checked out ground zero, but weren't able to get the grand tour. It was still pretty incredible to think of how big them buildings were and how big of a change in our lives they have made. We checked out the statue of the bull on Wall St and laughed at the line of tourists taking pictures with it b/c there was one line taking pics with the front of the bull and another line taking pics with the ass of it. I know that I would have been in the line of ass pictures had I wanted a picture. That night we got to go see Sister Act on Broadway. It was great even though the songs in the play were all different from those in the movie. Afterwards, we strolled through Time Square on our way to dinner. Jess immediately flashbacked to the days of TRL and where the mobs of tweens once stood hoping to catch that fateful glimpse of Carson Daly. The next day we hit up 5th Ave and Barney's. We did find a purse for $18,000...yes the equivalent of a car but I promise you that if Carey Bradshaw had mentioned it one SATC, it would have been this year's big Christmas craze despite having the equivalent value 5 slightly used Gremlins. Se la vi! I did find a Lindt chocolate store and decided to try their 99% Cocoa chocolate. Despite taking a rather small nibble, it is still so bitter I could only manage to eat a few bites. However, the expression on Jess' face when she tried it was priceless. I would try to describe it but I lack the vernacular. Just trust me when I say it was priceless. That night we ate at Les Halles, one of Anthony Bourdain's old stomping grounds. It was delicious and very much a French eatery...more butter than Paula Deen ever dreamed of y'all! We exchanged gifts that night, with the big gift being a game of Taboo. Guys vs Girls quickly ensued and of course the MEN won! The next morning, Christmas Day, we went to a nice old church then to a delicious steakhouse before making the trek back to Ft Dix. A lovely thing about taking the NJ Transit train is that at NY Penn Station (a very busy hub), they don't announce which track the train will be arriving/departing from until all of 10 min before the 300 passengers try to blitz simultaneously. So you can imagine four tourists with luggage trying to keep pace. We faired rather well I believe. I had to say my goodbyes to my parents that night as they were headed further into Yankee land to visit family in Massachusetts. Jess and I relished our last day together on the 26th. She surprised me with some Tex-Mex for my last dinner in the Estatos Unidos...she spoils me, I'll admit it. The next day I had to tell her goodbye and that just sucked, plain and simple. That evening, I popped some Benadryl and boarded my first international flight only to wake up flying somewhere over Germany. After a brief layover in Leipzig, I boarded another flight and ended up here in Manas, Kyrgyzstan where I've been ever since. I head to Afghanistan shortly and will eventually end up at my final destination. In the meantime, I have tasted Russian beer and tried to pass the time. There isn't much to do at transit centers like this but they have amenities like a movie theater and decent internet. Jess and I have found a plethora of iPhone apps to help us stay connected. We can now send each other video messages, altered pics, and even call whenever I have a wifi connection. All in all, it ain't that bad and could definitely worse. Hopefully, where ever I end up has decent enough internet to allow us to continue using these toys. I'll try to update this blog when I get the chance. I shall leave y'all with a tidbit of info that is no secret but still fun to wife is amazing!