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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Death by Taxes (???)

Sometimes, the best things in life aren't free.

Like when the military tells you they'll help you get your taxes done for free.

Not!

But we fell for it. We drove all the way to the other side of town where this "free tax preperation" session was being held. We even woke up extra early to be the first in line.



At this point we're thinking: Yes! We're on the right track! And we were called in almost right away. But once we sat down next to our tax consultant, we could feel something wasn't right.

Superman introduced me as his wife, and yet the tax consultant asked if he was single.  (Umm.. heellooo! Have you seen my big honkin ring lately!?) 

Then we hand over our first 1099, and the tax lady from hell looked confused. 

"What is this?" she said. 

"Uh, it's a 1099," Superman responded. 

"I don't know what that is. Let me go ask someone what 1099 is," she said. 


Right then, we had a truly married moment. We didn't have to say a thing or even look at each other to know what we were thinking.

Out. Now.

The rest was a blur. How we got from tax prep nightmare session to car to home to desk, I have no clue. But just know that four hours later we wrapped up our taxes (on our own for the first time!). Then we went out for one of our last date nights we'll have in a long time, and we laughed at our day until it hurt. Oh lordy...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Project 52 (8): Pink

Week 8: Pink


Sometimes it's important to light a pink candle and remember those around the world who don't have it so rosy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

#11 in 2011

11.   Apply for (and win) a journalism award

DONE AND DONE! ;)

Home Office

My first day of class went... well...

Until last week I never noticed that I've been living in a mental box. I signed up for class and my back-to-school mind thought the best thing to do was grab a lined notebook, a bic pen, and get ready to take notes.

But when I pulled out my classic notebook and pen, fit hit the shan.

My teacher broke the news to me: I've been living in a creative brain drain for the last 10 years of my life if I think that lined paper and a ballpoint pen will help me think any differently than what I think in my 9 to 5.

Her motivational monologue of how reclaiming my creativity can be the difference between literary life or death was the fuel I needed. For the first time in my "writing" life, I bought a gridded notebook and a multicolored pen set in all sizes and tips. She said this would be my prescription to writing-dom.

Then, she said, create a space, and call it yours.

Well, Superman and my dad created the space (because let's get real, lifting and assembling a home office takes superheroes).

And I call it, mine.

#37 in 2011. Create a home office.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Secret's Out!

Here you'll see the first of many things transpiring in the Super household. I am no longer sworn to secrecy. Superman got promoted!


video

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random Burst of Excitement



Alright ladies. Say it with me now: WHAT!!!!  WHAT!!!!?? WHAT!!!???

Dear A.W., thank you for coming back in my life. Perfect timing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Army Wives

I just saw a promo that made me yelp.

Army Wives is back! Sunday, March 6th at 9p.m. EST

I'm there.

Oh how I'm missing my friend (and 1st deployment fill-in spouse) Darcy more than ever!

Shenandoah

DC was just as I remembered it. The city is quiet, the streets are clean. The truth is you can polish it as much as you'd like, but it's a city after all. And when you're trying to take a vacation from the "big" city, you want to see trees instead of buildings, and wildlife instead of people (although many times in the apple, it can be easy to confuse the the two creatures).

One of the best parts of our trip was spending two days with my cousin Nora and her husband and kids in Virginia. We ventured to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia for the day to see in the civil war town and get as far away as possible from anything that sounded like cars, smelled like pushcart food, and felt like crowds.

Harper's Ferry is a mill town lodged between the mountains, and the Shenandoah River runs right through. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful it is there. So beautiful it made us forget about every day that would become the long year ahead.

Seeing Superman loving the kiddos made me feel something I have never felt before. At one point, little Noelle recited the Pledge of Allegiance by heart, and Superman had tears in his eyes. I couldn't help but force myself to take in all that I was seeing and worry later about how I felt.
Now I know. For the first time in a long time, life felt simple again.


video

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Back to School!

Remember when back to school meant back to school SHOPPING!? You couldn't leave the store with less than 8 bags of shtuff.

Office Max was like the Gucci of the 4th grade me. Okay, who am I kidding. More like the DSW.

Well, a few days ago I did my back to school shopping. And it really only amounted to one bag. Dang technology has us replacing paper with laptops and pencil sharpeners with... well, nothing.



You might be thinking: What the eff! You're more educated than 85 percent of the world's population. You dang out lapped your husband in edu-macation. You're borderline over-educated!

Well yes and no. I have an absolute addiction to teaching and learning and teaching and learning. Even though I can quit whenever I want to (ha!), I'm not gonna. Because I love it.

This week I'm starting my first class at NYU (my 8th grade dream school) to get a certificate in creative non-fiction writing.

You also might be thinking, what the eff! You're already a professional writer in the big bad apple -- what more could you possibly ask for!??

A chance to tell a few good stories I've got tucked away to a different kind of audience. In a journal, a magazine, maybe even a book (holy grail!).  Whatever it takes, I'm going do it.

The super household is so excited. I think secretly deep down Superman LOVES the fact that I can't sit still for one minute of my life. I mean, I got Superman excited enough to diligently go through a Pottery Barn catalog and design me a home office. It's a necessary school supply, I say.


So I didn't have that many supplies. But at least I kept it colorful!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Do Not Disturb


WARNING: Valentine's Day taking place at the Super's. Witnessing this event may include, but is not limited to, googly eyes, extreme happiness, dressing up fabuloso, dining, dancing, and potentially sickening public displays of affection. On rare occasions of togetherness, superheroes cannot guarantee that spontaneous combustion will not occur. Lingerers may experience nausea and rolling of the eyes. Overflow of chocolate covered strawberries may be hazardous to health.


What are you still doing here!!!!??? Go shmoosh your soldier while you still got'em! Superman may be gone tomorrow, but he's here today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Getaway

So this is it. Our bittersweet pre-deployment getaway. One of the last "us" times we'll have before Superman deploys.

We need some time off. Pre-deployment is turning our world upside down. We've had to sell the bike, rent the house, move our stuff, fill out paperwork, and more paperwork, and more paperwork. Big life changes in such a short amount of time has brought on many sleepless nights and alot of anxiety...

So yes, we need some time off. But this time together also means no more time left together after a few weeks. Life is changing really fast and I don't know if I can handle all any of it.

But I should be grateful. Because this will be our first married Valentine's Day, and we'll get to actually spend it together! Sometimes I feel like the military only adheres to one special day: sendoff.

(Did I mention that Superman is deploying right before my birthday??)

So we thought about some place tropical, but just couldn't swing it this time around. Instead, we're heading to our nation's capital for a few days!

D.C. is near to my heart because I spent one of the best summers of my life there and promised myself I'd work my booty off to get back (once I've had all I could stand in the big apple, that is!) The last time I was in DC was for a journalism conference I attended my senior year of undergrad.

I grabbed one of my best friends Ted and we road tripped it. One of our speakers was a journalist from a pretty big well-respected company with one of the coolest jobs ever. She told us that if we ever wanted to make it to where she was, we just needed to work our booties off -- eat, sleep, and dream the life we wanted.

I must've carbo-loaded on "the life" because now I work at this well-respected place, and she is now one of my colleagues!



DC is near to Superman's heart because... well.... what man in the military isn't wowed by our nation's capital?

If we ever came to a middle ground on a place we could really see ourselves living together (I know, unchartered territory!), it's DC.

For both of us, DC is glamor, is success, is family, is friends, is motorcycle friendly, is baby friendly!

Okay okay, back to reality.







Let's see what the capital has in store for us this time...

No blogging. No computer. No phones. No work for the next few days.

Just Superman, L.S.D., & thoughts of having a life together for once.... maybe in D.C. ;)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Project 52 (4)

Project 52 Week 4: Reflection



And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts; verily in that are signs for those who reflect (Quran 30:21).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shhh!!!!

Something pretty big and amazing is happening in the super household... and I really wish I could tell you. But Superman has sworn me to secrecy, at least for a little while.

I can't even give you a hint!

Maybe in the military, confidentiality comes easy. But I'm a reporter, so the story's gotta be told!

Stay tuned!

Sell The Bike

My 73 in 2011 is full of so many things I want to do while Superman is deployed. But it's also full of things I don't want to do.

Case in point: # 53. Sell The Bike.

Superman's sports bike has been the staple of our entire relationship (well, that and of course the actual feelings we have for each other...).  My bum (and only my bum) has been on the passenger seat of that bike since our first date! I admit in the beginning I was scared of that thing. But over time, I've grown attached.




For five years Superman and the bike were a packaged deal. No amazing superhero army man of my dreams, without the adrenaline rush soar-bum-on-long-rides bike. So it should shock us all to know that Superman was in fact the first to bring up the idea of selling the bike.

And when he brought it up, I cried. And cried. And cried. Tears of sadness.We've had long discussions about selling the bike. But we had to cut the conversations short as terrible breakdowns ensued.

Because giving up the bike evoked grown up married words like, "fiscal responsibility," like  "accidents happen," like "we're not immortal," like " potentially not hurting our baby makers on the rough seats." (Okay the last was not discussed, but it sounds grown up and serious.)

And hearing these words to me meant carefree dating life is over! *Please excuse the following meltdown* BAHHHHHHHH!!!! It was like turning 40 overnight, and forgetting the botox!

But last weekend we did it. Well, he did it. Because I couldn't stand to be in the same location, let alone the same state as we gave our baby away. But before he did, we came to a compromise. Sell the bike now, but get an amazing new one when Superman comes back -- with a new jacket for me, that is blingy and amazing. And for a week following, we'll bring back our "A game" back.
Because a man without a bike doesn't deserve a second date. The End.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pay it Forward

The big apple is full of bigs. Big bankers, big celebs, big musicians, big dogs, big accents... even Carrie's Mr. Big.

And after a while of livin in the big city, it's safe to say that you're not an appleite if at many points in your life you don't start to think that you're, in some sense, big.

Sometimes, it's appropriate. Say, for example, you think you're too big for some of the apartments here. Sounds about right.

But sometimes, big can mean ego, can mean entitlement, can mean bigger, can mean forgetting the simple things. It's yucky, and big, and that's when you know you've gotta squash that big thing.

And I do that by be being grateful. Every day I make a list of five things I'm grateful for. And if it's a person -- I let them know! In person. In phone calls. In real written letters! (primitive, I know -- yet it means so much!)





So thank you, Arthur, for donating your suite for the "Seats for Soldiers" program and giving us a Celtics experience we will never forget!

Yeah, that's right. I'm bringing "thank you's" back. Don't thank me. Just pay it forward.