Dispatches from a go-gettin journalist. Because not all Army wives live behind the lines...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mission Kitty

That's right, y'all.

Superman and I have fur-baby fever. Not to be confused with... well, you know.

We've been talking about fur-babies for a long time, but there's always been a bit of hesitation. I've never had a pet before so I envision the cute carrying case and the ball of furry fun! Superman envisions poop and scratched up furniture.  Secretly though I know he has a special place in his heart for furbabies.

And I think we've come to a middle ground breakthrough recently. Superman is leaving soon and it would be nice to have a little house friend. I think I can handle it (?)

Although lately, our excursions to find the right one haven't been successful. We really haven't felt a connection to the kitties we saw. You're supposed to feel a connection, right?

Without further ado... here's our latest mission to adopt our first kitty!

Step 1: Get your game face on.

...Or just get pumped...

Step 2: Try to bond
This big guy was mean to us.

This little guy wanted nothing to do with us.

 Mission: Fail.
While Superman says he'd prefer not to get a little gatto, he was legitimately upset when it didn't work out this time around.

So now we know it'll take a few tries...

This just might be happening people!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Riding in Style

Being a frequent bus rider, I've learned that there are just as many people trying to leave the apple as there are trying to get in. Oftentimes that leaves me waiting in long lines for shady buses that may or may not show. And once I'm in, it's inevitable I'll be stuck on the stuffy bus hours longer than the listed 4 hours.

I've travelled my whole life, but nothing gets to me more than the bus rides that need to be taken if Superman and I are ever going to see each other.  Maybe I don't hate the bus. Maybe I just hate everything the bus stands for. No wait, I also hate the bus.

I usually experience a mini anxiety attack minutes before getting on the bus to or away from Superman. And Superman knows this. So to ease my anxiety, he surprised me by getting me a ticket on the Limo Liner -- an ultra swanky "bus" that's more like a private first class ride. Instead of having to limit myself to staring out of the window for 4+ hours, I could spread out! I had my own personal workspace, including a desk, leather reclining chairs, personal flat screen TV, and snacks and drinks served!

These phone pics don't do it justice!

And when I wrapped up my work, put my feet up and looked out the window I thought about how grateful I am for everything in my life. More than anything right now, I'm grateful for a man who always works hard to support my dream and make me happy. Nothing I do for him can compare.

While a better ride won't replace actually being with Superman, I think it's a sign that we're just doing the best that we can with what we've been given. God is great.

Friday, January 28, 2011

That's What He Said

The song above was playing on the radio... and Superman turned to me and said: "This could be about us if we decide to live a life of crime."

WHAT!? Yes folks, that's what he said.

Too bad we're as far on the right side of the law as any couple could be. Still, you think we're tough enough to go down shootin. And I'm alright with that.

Well look what we have here...

Who knows, maybe one day we'll be on Top Shot - safety glass, safety vest, ear muffs, and all. Although, I guess "safety first" doesn't cut it when you're an outlaw.

Yeah, the polo shirt and cute smiles aren't gonna cut it either.

Okay we're really gonna have to work on our image.

(Superman says the funniest things sometimes most of the time. "That's What He Said" is a series documenting the ridonk things he says. Because seriously now, I can't be the only one who experiences this...)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blizzard, Indeed!

It's still not clear to me whether all workaholics seem to live in the apple, or whether the apple inevitably turns us all into workaholics.

The whole world could freeze over -- which lately it feels like it has -- and we all just retreat into our igloos and just keep working. In fact, all this week, I've gotten into work as the sun was rising and have only gotten out well after the sun has set. During the day Manhatttan turns to slush. But at night, Manhattan turns to ice. (I can't decide which is worse. But either way, there's no need to be outside. Just inside. Working.).

Well not tonight! The Vitamin-D-deficient me is kicking off those hard earned pair of boots, trading in the pencil skirt for the sweat pants, making the best hot chocolate ever, and hopefully getting to know a whole lotta military wives through the Blizzard Bloghop!

Let's hope the blizzard not only leaves us with mounds of snow, but bloggy friends as well!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Deployment Lifesavers

Now that we're in full blown pre-deployment phase, it's crunch time. And we're feelin it.

Pre-deployment phase can only be described as a fury of strategizing, emergency preparedness, pre-emptive crisis averting, errand running,  list making, and mounds and mounds of paperwork. Not to mention creating a plan A, then a plan B, then a C, then a D, then a then a then a....

And still, the story goes that whatever you don't prepare for, will probably happen. We are well aware.

While this isn't our first deployment overall, it our first married deployment -- and let me tell you, it's a whole different ballpark. I'm also a bit farther away from many of the friends and family that pulled me through the first deployment.

Besides creating personal goals for the year, there's alot of grown up stuff that I'll need to take care of.

So I've pulled together a few resources that have been pre-deployment lifesavers for us so far:
These organizations and programs have certainly eased our mind a bit as we prepare for the big year ahead.

Do you have any resources you've found helpful or you think would be helpful? Please share!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Traditional Armenians believe there are a few among us that have the extraordinary gift of reading your fortune by just looking into your coffee cup.

(My work mug)

I should take heed and embrace.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If I Can Make It There

If you told the 12-year-old me that one day I'd be living and writing in NYC, I'd probably give you the sassy pre-teen look and say, "well, duh!!!"

So why do I wake up every morning and think to myself, "Is this really happening?"

I have a crazy love for this city. There's really no where in the world that can compare to this overcrowded smoosh of an island. Let's keep it real here. If you're a Manhattanite, it's likely you live in an overpriced box. A walkup in a nice neighborhood is a steal. No one does their own laundry, or walk their own dogs, or take care of their own kids. Everyone gets their groceries delivered. And if you're a true Manhattanite, you never really venture out of your neighborhood. And yet, it's likely that in the three block radius you walk each day, you'll never see the same person twice. The competition is fierce. Growth is endless. Failure is probable. But if not, the payoff is huge.

I know, it sounds insane. But secretly I love it.

I say secretly because I'm afraid to love it out loud, and grow too attached to my life here. Mainly because Superman doesn't see himself living in the city, and after more than five years of never living in the same place, something someone's gotta give.

Our original intent when we moved here was that both of us would move together. But once I got here, Superman never showed. He decided to stay behind. So for a year I've been going at it alone. Now I have this inherent fear that after this deployment, he'll likely scoot out of the city again. And again I'll be left with the same decision to make on my own.

Secretly I know it would break my heart to leave somewhere I worked to hard to be. 

I've been exhausted thinking about it, and feeling like I have to do everything possible now because I'll feel forced to walk away.

But I'll tell you now, I'm not leaving. I've still got that 12-year-old in me to satisfy. I've still got so much left to acom...


Oh! That's my groceries!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Project 52 (3) Self-Portrait

Week 3: Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait - (v) The act of seeing your spouse's successes as your own.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Only the Best

"Only the best wife in the world would let her husband do this," says Superman.

Well, only the best husband in the world would stay up all night to comfort and clean up after his vomitron wife. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

In Sickness and Health

It's amazing how things in life can change in an instant.

Friday night we were having an amazing time at the Celtic's game. Superman was honored for his service... heck, he was even asked for an interview on national TV! We were having such a fun night!

That is, until the game ended. On the way home, I felt my head throbbing. Loud music, bright lights, I thought. But the longer we spent in the car, the worst I felt... headache, fever, cramps, cold sweats, shivering, nausea!!! Like I had never felt before.

Then, for the first time since 6th grade, I vomitroned (a.k.a. vomited). And before we knew it, a fun night turned into a long night. A really long night.

And the whole time, Superman was right there. Washing out the trash can numerous times in one evening. Staying up all night to make sure I was totally tucked into bed. Setting the alarm to 20 minutes before the closest pharmacy opened. And whispering, "in sickness and in health."

I believe at one point in the night, we had the following exchange:

Me: I'm sorry! I am so unattractive right now.

Superman: No you're really attractive. Just not when you're puking. But the second you stop you're beautiful again!

Me: Really?

Superman: Yes. Now just keep your head over the can so I can clean you up.

What? Really? This is what a husband does?

Later on, I thought about  what would inevitably be my reality in the next few months. If I was alone during this episode, I don't know what I would do. Call an ambulance? Freak out? Call a friend at 3a.m.?

Maybe the solution might be not to get sick for a whole year.

I've learned that no matter how independent I think I am, I know there are just some things I can't handle on my own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kind of a Big Deal

(Superman posts!)

My amazing wife nominated me to be honored as a "Hero Among us," at a Celtics Game. So last night we went to Boston's TD Banknorth Garden, to take part in the "Seats For Soldiers" program sponsored by the USO. A public relations representative asked me if I would be willing to conduct an interview during the event. Little did I know the interview involved sitting at the announcement desk in between nationally known sportcasters Mike and Tom and being on national television for fifteen minutes. I tried to be professional and represent my unit and the Army well. I have to thank my wonderful wife for setting me up with this unique and amazing opportunity.

Here are two links where you can see it!

Superman on Celtics Video 1

Superman on Celtics Video 2

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Project 52 (1)

Forget what dating men and women say about knowing their significant other inside out.

Many married folks will probably confirm that you probably only know about 60% of the person before you get married. When you're married to the military, maybe less.

Everytime Superman and I learn something new about each other, we shout out a percentage point. Right now we're at 64%... which is great considering we've only been married a solid 3 months!

Here's what brought on 62%:

I told Superman that in high school my photos were selected for a huge photography exhibit over another student who not only had 6 more years of experience than I did (I had about 6 months)... but that student was also accepted into a prestigious art school. He was a good friend and I was shocked.

At my high school, the pre-requisite to entering an independent study class for photography was to take a beginner class, then intermediate, then expert. Only then could you apply for independent study.

That didn't fly with me. So I BEGGED  sent gentle requests every hour of every day, until finally the teacher said okay. And I promised him I wouldn't disappoint. That semester became the best of my high school career.

... At that point in my life, Superman was no where to be found... (thank goodness, because come on, it's high school)

So last month, Superman bought me the amazing camera of my dreams and said, "Show me what you got."

Bring It.

Thus emerged "Project 52."  Every week of this year includes a different photography assignment. I absolutely love a good challenge and when I saw this on another milspouse's blog (thanks D.A.R.!!) I had to engage immediately.

I realized I have one week of catching up to do.

Week 1:  Black & White.

Asta La Pasta!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No Sudden Moves

Two days ago my friend made a surprise visit to the Apple to fall apart.*
The man she wanted to marry… married someone else.  No, she wasn’t seeing him. But she had no idea that he was seeing someone else. Or that he was ever engaged. It came as a surprise to everyone when the couple announced they just returned from their honeymoon.
So she boarded a bus to the big apple, navigated right to my couch, and fell apart.
She thought he must have been the nicest guy ever, the best, the cutest, the most, the perfect, the the the…  that she ever met. But the truth is, she didn’t know him.
Now, at age 24, she thinks she’s doomed to be a spinster. I know you’re probably thinking that it’s just the sorrow talking. And trust me, we have all been there and had that. I remembered my “What If” man – but unlike her at this moment, I have the amazing gift of hindsight and came out with a better deal. She will too. But I didn’t tell her that because she’ll never believe me. Instead, we mourned our “What If” men together.  
But I’ve been hearing this more often lately from many of my friends.  A lot of girls catering their life for a man that does not exist -- out of sheer fear that they’ll never meet the right man. They are afraid to try new experiences or take big leaps on their own, and instead focus all of their energy on looking for a husband.  
She’ll be graduating from the best school in the nation soon. She has this dream to get out of town and get her feet wet in the apple for a while. But she’s scared to do it. Because what if the non-existent husband-to-be is in her hometown?
But who’s to say that she won’t find this guy when she does decide to take that leap for herself? I said.
She said she feels like she’s got to make all the conditions in her life right – no sudden moves or life changes – so she’ll be ready to welcome that nonexistent husband-to-be, whenever he decides to show. This friend on my couch is one of many.  It is so consuming that sometimes this is all many of us talk about when we get together -- that our every happiness depends on finding this yet-to-exist husband.
Although I’ve heard her story from so many of my girlfriends, I keep thinking that I never remember ever feeling this way. In fact, I was scared to get married. I turned down so many opportunities to get to know anyone because I was afraid that getting married would mean giving up compromising on a career I hadn’t taken a real shot at yet. I wanted to know that I could be independent and successful and self-sufficient.
I didn’t want to be an accessory in someone else’s picture.
In fact, it took me a while to warm up to Superman.  And I learned that contrary to the “no sudden moves or life changes” belief, there will be a man that will embrace your independence, success, and self-sufficiency -- whether you want to chase a job in the Peach, start a business in the Bean, or chase a dream in the Apple.
There is no right time or place. It’s all about timing. But we can’t create the right time and place in our life, nor do we know what we need to do to make the conditions right. I don’t think we have control over when the yet-to-exist husband will show.  
So the only thing I could do was encourage my friend to make sudden moves, if that’s what she wants! Change her life, if she wants! Become a Manhattan-ite (because let’s get serious, who doesn’t want that!)! Give herself a shot! Something good will come along… I just know it.
*Such friend consented to this post.

View My Milblogging.com Profile

Sunday, January 9, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

These past few days I took a mid-week trip with my best friend Darcy up to Rochester, NY, to visit two of our great friends who live in the area -- Ted and Brian!

I'd never been to Rochester before, and who knew it would be such a fun city. But only because there were friends to share the experience.

I mean where else would we be able to experience this as a morning wake up call, and an early afternoon pick-me-up:

Well, maybe Superman in the car... (Oh, gosh, repressive memories...)

I've realized that while I absolutely love the apple, it's good to get away. Often. The daily grind can suck the soul right out of you. And sometimes you just need a good friend like Ted to karaoke hits like, "Total Eclipse of the Heart," to find it again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Year In Review

I'm such a fan of lists, it's crazy. I get a crazy high warm tingly feeling of accomplishment when I cross things off. And between you and me... I can neither confirm nor deny that I add things on my to-do list that I've already done... just so I can feel myself cross it off. I'm terrible, I know.

Just check out my 2011 in 2011.

Yesterday The Boston Globe featured a great check-yo-self-before-you-wreck-yo-self piece looking at your own successes/failures in 2010. Here are my answers to the list (love love love!) they wanted readers to fill out:

In 2010, I gained a better half!

I lost that fear of failure I built up and found a new beginning.

I stopped worrying so much about what others thought of me.

I started living the life I dreamed about since I was in 6th grade.  

I was hugely satisfied by the unconditional support I felt from most of my friends and family.

And frustrated by living apart from my (then soon to-be) husband.

I am so embarrassed that I probably cried more last year than at any point in my life.

Once again, I grew stronger in my relationship with Superman.

Once again, I did not stop biting my nails.

The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is umm... I ran a 5K so maybe that makes me have a healthier bod ???

I loved spending time with my bridesmaids!

Why did I spend even two minutes worrying about haters?

I should have spent more time saying 'thank you.'

I regret buying a graduation gown (don't get me wrong -- I LOVED getting a Masters... but I'll never wear it again. Why couldn't they just let us rent!?)

I will never regret buying our wedding day even though with that money I could have bought a new house.

I worry way too much.

I didn’t relax enough.

Those-that-shall-not-be-named drove me crazy.

Was Lady Gaga crazier than ever last year? Or was it me?

The most relaxing place I went was Belize.

I feel so amazing when I write everything down.

Why did I go to my (then) husband-to-be's bachelor party? (Oh yeah, that's right. I had no choice...)

The best thing I did for someone else was ... really I don't do enough.

The best thing I did for myself was propel my career/getting a degree/get married... all in one year.

The best thing someone did for me was love me.

The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better, is not be such a stressball on our wedding day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Apple & Army

Today, Superman and I have been married 3 months. But we don't live together. Yet.  

Blame it on the military. Well, partially... because even though I'm an Army wife, I don't quite live that cliche army life.

There are many misconceptions about Army wives. Of course, stereotypes come from some truth, but my life isn't about fitting into that mold. 

I don't live on a base. I don't live off of my husband's salary. We're both "highly" educated [one of us higher than the other ;) ] I've got my own career. And come March, while Superman is deployed to AFG for a year, I'll be livin in the big apple chasin a hard-worked-for dream.

In the 5 years that we've known each other, we've spent less than a year in the same location. We have two "homes" that we built together, but we still don't live together full-time.  Instead, we live our life through phones, letters, and emails. Blame that on the training, past year-long deployment, and the one that's on the way.

And while Superman's been away a lot, I feel an overwhelming motivation to move forward in my life and my career, instead of waiting empty-handed "at home." I feel an overwhelming responsibility to find personal success. So that's taken me to many different places across the country while he's been gone. You can say that while he's TDY, I've been TDY too. And what's great is that for now, our relatioship dynamic works for that kind of life. I've always got to have my hand in something. And Superman is so supportive of "doin my own thang."   

Many days we really hate it, and we know we can only live that way for so long. We vowed our life will change when he returns from this deployment.Wherever in the world we end up, we will be there together. Full-time.

For now, we'll spend these final three months taking advantage of every chance we get together, before we spend our year apart.

Until we can finally pull ourselves together under one roof, this is our story.