Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Philip's birthday

September 20th is the last day to send a package or even a card to Philip so that he can receive it on or before his birthday on October 4.

Boy, I am having such a hard time deciding what to get him!!!

I am in between a camera or a digital photo frame. I figured with a camera he could take pictures of things over there and then I could see what it is like and I know he would like being able to do that.

But, then the digital photo frame would be nice so he could see slideshows of me and the cats and stuff...... decisions, decisions.....

I asked someone if I could send a cake in dry ice over there....well...no..because they say dry ice only lasts for a week at most....and it's been taking 2 weeks for him to get things. Pooh....I really want to do something special...but, I have been so out of touch with him...only a weekly phone call. You can't just call up the Iraqi bakery and get a cake made!!! ;(

Well, let me know if you need Philip's address.

Courtney G.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Officially Welcomed To Adult Birthdays

Well, so my 25th birthday started out promising. I awoke at a decent hour of 20 till 9 and began packing for my trip down to Austin. I wanted to be on the road at 10 am, but didn't quite make it. At 10:30 am, Philip called me and told me he would be on webcam in a few minutes. I thought he would call a little later at noon, so I had to rush around and get my computer out of the car and get it set up. We had a nice little chat before he got hungry and had to go. It was the first time I had seen his face in over 2 months.

So, I got in my car and headed out at about 12:30 p.m. The trip was uneventful, until about 20 miles from my target destination I noticed my car said, "Check left tire pressure". At this point I had gotten into the area of the greater Austin area and so traffic is busier. I began looking for a gas station or a Walmart parking lot to pull over in. I didn't find any until a mile or two down the road. I pulled over in a H-E-B parking lot and noticed my left tire was completely flat. I tried to use the pump get that is standard in my Pontiac Grand Prix GXP--but it didn't work. I called for roadside assistance, but they were going to tow me to a closed car dealership. So, I thought I could do better. I called Beth and Larry, our family friends, and they came about 20-30 minutes later to survey the damage. My car doesn't come with a spare or a tire jack. It notes this in black and white in the owners manual. I guess they figure that with the high tech tire pressure system located in each tire that you will not need a spare. Larry called AAA and they said they would tow my vehicle. When the gentleman got there, he say a whole and got a temperary patch for it and aired it up. I drove the short distance to Walmart across the street. They said it would take 1.5 hours before they could get it in....so I waited. We went to dinner and by the time I got back, they were pulling my car into the shop. We decided to go in Walmart and buy a birthday cake for me. A few minutes later I heard my name on the speaker. I told Beth, "Either they got it done quickly or there is a serious problem." I had a feeling it was a serious problem.

I went back to the Tire shop and they showed me my tire. It had huge air type bubbles all over the inner wall of the tire. The guy counted 16 he said. So, the tire was ruined. Several of the tire workers said it was a manufacturers defect. My tire is a fancy sport tire that has 18 inch rims...so they did not have any in stock. So, I had to leave my car in their parking lot and wait until this morning to call Firestone/Bridgestone.

They told me it was from driving with low pressure for a period of time. This I knew was not the case, because of my tire pressure system and how closely I monitor my gauges. Nevertheless, I have to pay nearly $300 for one tire. Depressing. Beyond depressing.....

So, for the first time, I spent my birthday without my family. Without my husband. Hot and sweaty standing around figuring out what to do with my tire and car for 4 hours. I must admit I wanted my husband in a time like this. I couldn't call him. I couldn't talk to him. I was alone.

So, I guess this is what adult birthdays are like. Every other day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cardio Girl

Well, I have worked up to 40 minutes on the Elliptical machine. I work at or above my target heart rate most of those 40 minutes. I will eventually combine more strength, but that is not typically as hard for me as I have always been the muscle type of girl.

My birthday is next Monday. This will be the first year to not celebrate with my family and especially with my husband Philip. I may go to Austin so I won't be all alone. I have had several of my new friends invite me to dinner if I don't have anything planned.

On another note, as a reminder Philip's birthday is October 4th!!!! Please mark this on your calendar! If you could at least send him a Birthday card I would greatly appreciate it. Keep in mind that it can take up to 2 weeks for him to receive mail and packages.

If you would like to send him a little something I suggest Gift Certificates. Here is a link to AAFES, which is the PX, which they have one at Camp Taji.

Philip also mentioned books by Orson Scott Card. The Ender's Game series. He already read the first Ender's Game.

It's really my goal to make this years birthday a good one for Philip!!! ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I have been going to the gym this week with a girl I met on Craigslist. She needed a workout partner and wanted to get fit for when her husband returns from Iraq in September 2009, just like Philip. So, we had a lot in common from the get go. We get along pretty well. I must say she is more motivated right now, but who knows maybe that will change and I will have to push her a little. She is always saying, "15 minutes on the eliptical?". If you don't know what the eliptical machine is, it is basically a stair stepper. It really kills me, but I went for 15 minutes today and 10 minutes yesterday. Plus we do about 20 minutes on the treadmill and do the weight machines. Right now I am really focusing more on the cardio aspect because that is the hardest for me. I have always been very strong and muscular, so I don't have as much trouble lifting weights or getting excited about lifting weights. I can't believe how good working out is feeling!! It has done a lot for me already and it has just been three days! I think it has affected how I sleep, because I got up early today and didn't feel super groggy like I have been feeling. Right now, I am not focusing on the actual losing weight aspect. I am focusing on getting stronger and doing more for my health.

Well, it's been 2 months since Philip left for Iraq. I have to say that all in all it gets harder, not easier. I was just thinking about it today. I think everybody has strength to go a certain amount of time without someone, but then you kind of just go, "Man, I want to see this person NOW!!" That's where I am at. Two months was long enough and now I am ready to have Philip back, but of course it doesn't work that way, so I am pushing along.

Along with my exercising, I have been cooking more and watching what I eat. Basically, I try to put good, whole grains and fiber in me several times a day. I am eating lots of Oranges as my "snack" to stave off cravings. With all these healthy habits, it makes me miss my husband more. I wish I could share this with him. As I was listening to my workout partner, Sabrina, jabber on and on about something that I wasn't really listening to, I thought of Philip and how much I wished I could be working out with him. He truly is my best friend and there isn't anyone else who I would rather workout with. I think about all the times he asked me to go and I just wouldn't. I always came up with an excuse. I guess I just had to really do it for me. When there was no one else making me, but myself. The one thing that has been hitting me lately is just missing simply being someone's wife. Just doing and taking care of someone. Having someone to share your daily thoughts and feelings with.

Driving by the Apaches on post usually brings me happiness. They bring me closer to Philip in a way, because I know that somewhere 7000 miles away he is touching one and fixing one and covered in dust and grease. But, there is definitely a sense of longing. Yesterday as I was driving to the Gym on post, I teared up when I saw the Apaches. I guess after a while you just can't hold in the reality of that longing. I don't cry much. It wouldn't do a lot of good. I mean, maybe I should, but most times I am just numb or in denial of some of what I am feeling. I go to bed alone, wake up alone, and rarely hear my husband's voice for longer than 30 minutes a week. I get used to it and honestly because he can't call that often, I don't anticipate it anxiously. In a way, I like that.

I've been watching Star Trek Deep Space Nine from the beginning. Philip was watching the later seasons when we got married and so now I am going back and catching up on what it was like before the Federation was at war with the Dominion. I have become a true trekkie thanks to my hubby. I liked it a little before, but now, I like it A LOT!!!! ;)


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Job Search

The last few weeks I have scoured the job listings on the Work force link website. I have found a few positions that I would most like to have.

This past week I worked up a resume and applied for a couple of jobs.

I have been enjoying the Olympics. I especially like watching Michael Phelps and also the U.S. Gymnastics team.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I got a call from Philip today. We talked about many things. His grief over losing his Grandpa Gosvener and wishing he could be near me during this time. Towards the end of the call he told me the most devastating of all news...........his R&R from Iraq is set for March. Not Christmas. Although he put in for it, two other people, DANG and a T.J. (Don't know him) put in their re-enlistment contracts to have choice of R&R dates and they choose Christmas.

It was a disappointing blow. I can't say I am surprised, I geared myself for it. However, March is a lot longer time than I expected. That's well over half of his tour....about 9 months of it. So he said on the bright side, "We will have only six months left after R&R". I guess that is true. It's the space in between that is the hardest I think.

I was feeling bored in my house last night and so I went and saw the movie "Mamma Mia", which is a musical of ABBA songs. I was on the fence whether to see it or not, but there was no other chick flick movies out and I had already seen Batman and Hancock and just wasn't in the mood for Action. I was pleasantly surprised. Not that the movie had any real "substance", but it was uplifting none the least. It was full of songs that made you want to sing along! So I guess it was a winner in terms of giving my mood a boost. I also rented "Atonement", which I also was prejudice about. I had only heard bits of what it was about and didn't know if it was as epic as many had said. I thought that it was a wonderful period piece that had one of those deep and lasting impressions. That kind of movie that when it is over you stare at the credits poundering the depth of it.

So, the truth is I have been scouring for a meaningful book to read. I am just not in the mood for non-fiction right now. I want a comparable book to the movie Atonement. One vivid with imagery and meaning. So, I will continue that journey at the library...maybe today.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Update: A month....

Philip has been gone exactly a month.....tomorrow. The hardest thing is the lack of communication. Just last Saturday my sister called to tell me her water had broke and of course I wanted to share this with my husband. But, I couldn't. I couldn't call him up or text him. All I could do was email him and hope he had a chance to go to the internet cafe in the next few days. So far, he hasn't been able to get internet in his room. He said they don't have any servers available.

He calls me about 2 times a week and I never know when or if he will call. Usually the conversations last about 15 minutes or less because they use phone booths that everyone else uses and they are only allowed to talk so long.

Philip seems to be doing good. They keep them so busy he rarely has time to think about things....like I do. Like tonight, I really wish I could be able to talk to him, even if that meant Instant messaging with him. But, I am writing tonight to get it out.

I have been back in Kansas for a week visiting my new nephew, Ethan and it has been nice to be back. Today I went to Oswego and participated in a Christmas in July stamping class put on by Sarah Gilreath, who is my TAC upline. (i.e. TAC is The Angel Company, I am an independent demonstator with the company based out of Salina, KS). They showed me some really cool ideas for Christmas! I love getting new ideas for paper crafting!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


So I have been in Austin since Sunday. I am staying with Philip's family friends Beth and Larry. I had a really good connection with them when Philip and I visited them back in April, so I decided to come down again and visit.

Beth and I went to a card making class this evening. I must say that it was wonderful at teaching me a few new techniques, but I was overwhelmed as was Beth at the level of difficulty involved in these designs.

It involved using several different inks and surfaces. All of the stamping was done on acrylic or glossy paper, so Stazon ink was used. Versamark ink was used as well, which is a distressing type of ink.

The cards turned out good, but flawed. But, looking at them now, they are bursting with colors. So, these are definitely techniques I will use in the future!

Another good thing has occurred. Larry has a great sense of humor and well, I had one of those deep belly laughs that I hadn't really had in months. It was very refreshing to be laughing again.

Things are still hard and I miss Philip a little more each day, but I realize just as Beth and I discussed that I have to go on if for nothing else but self preservation while Philip and I are apart.

Beth and I are taking another class tomorrow night called, "Rubber Stamping Basics"--so this should be a whole light easier and I know I will learn some great new tricks!!!

Tomorrow I will have to upload the pictures of the cards I made!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

He is gone

Well, the day has come and is almost over. Philip is gone. He will fly for 25 hours to Kuwait and then make his way to Iraq in the next few weeks. This is a hard time for me. We made a lot of good memories before he left. Swimming in the lake, watching movies, and visiting family.

Our A/C went out again, which doesn't exactly help set the current mood. It is currently 91 degrees in the house with windows open and fans on at 8:20 p.m. Our rental company hasn't been overly sympathetic. They don't have to live in the heat so I guess it is easy to separate yourself from the seriousness of it. The A/C repair man told us that this is a problem that the previous renters had and that it is a cheap, old unit that should just be replaced but the owners of this house will not do that until it completely stops working. Until then, we will continue to have substandard air conditioning and even heating in the winter. He said the basic unit just can't keep up with the heat and the size of the house.

I am glad my mom is here, she has been very helpful. It makes this hard time a little better. I have to take each day one at a time. The sting of his absence is hard felt right now. We did so many things together. So it will take a while to get used to him being gone......

That's where I am at right now. I am holding up okay, but could be better.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So I'm Leaving Saturday

Hey All! Philip and I went to San Antonio today for a Drs. Appointment that Philip had. We left at 6 am and got up at 5:30 a.m. ---Let's just say that Philip didn't want to be late and wasn't sure where he was going... It turned out that the drive was uneventful except of the Austin morning traffic and the Brook Army Medical Center was right off the road. We went in to the huge hospital and asked for the directions to the area he was going to... It turns out it was the easiest place to find and took us like 3 minutes. So we were 2.5 hours early.......

Tomorrow is going to be super busy....we have tons to do...packing, cleaning, getting ready for not being home for over a week, and shopping for kitty litter.... Then Saturday we are leaving at 3-4 am to drive to Austin to catch our 8 a.m flight... Philip can't leave until midnight--military policy. Philip promises I will get plenty of sleep on the plane... I can only hope! I am a grouch when I don't have sleep!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Austin City Limits

Philip and I journeyed down south to Austin last Friday to visit old family friends of his, Beth and Larry Batchelor. The drive was slightly eventful, as we passed through a severe storm cell with the possiblity of grapefruit sized hail.

We arrived at around 9 pm and I was introduced to Beth and Larry. They are truly awesome people! Beth has a perpetual smile and Larry is really funny.

They took us to many restaurants while we were there....all of them the "best" of their genre. Steakhouse, BBQ, Diner, and the Original Pancake House... They took us to Oasis, which is a fancy pancy place overlooking Lake Travis...... It was quite eclectic. However, that particular trip, we left our Camera in the guest bedroom!!! I kept saying over and over, "Honey, I wish you would have remembered the camera!!" LOL!!!

Austin is a bigger city, but it doesn't have the same "city" feel as Houston... I enjoyed the area a lot more than I did Houston, although they were similar in traffic. It seemed a lot calmer and more rural than Houston....although I marveled at the fact that there seemed to be 20 Walgreens, one on every corner!

There were several areas that reminded me of Arkansas, because it was hilly and had nice overlooks. There was a store called "Archivers" that I have been dying to go to since I found out about it two months ago....it is a scrapbooking super store!!!! Philip also took me to Fry's Electronics, which is a electronics superstore.... I must say he enjoyed it more than I, but it did have astronaut ice cream at the cash registers, so I was appeased! ;)

We had a great time and I found new friends that I will probably visit often while Philip is gone. Larry is a big music buff and showed us a place that has regular musicians playing....He just went to see BB King and is seeing ZZ Top this Thursday!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

In a fortune cookie

I see "God" moments in everything. I really think that is the point that God is trying to teach us. In the midst of whatever we are going through, we can find him talking to us. I think as church goers, we often miss the forest for the trees at times.

Last evening, my husband had to work a split shift. That meant he went in early and got off at noon and went back at 5:30 pm- 10 pm. This is probably perhaps my least favorite time for him to be gone, because I am naturally very used to him being home in the evening.

Our A/C has been out for the last week and the heat has deterred me from doing much of anything in the house.....yesterday was perhaps the hottest it has been here. So I decided to get out of the house and drive around. I was starving and decided to try out a Chinese Buffet that Philip had said was good.

As the waitress said, "Just you ma'am?" I shook my head and she lead me to the table. I have eaten by myself a plenty in my short adult life, but I admit it is extremely lonely. A lot of thoughts ran through my head. Admittedly, I wanted to hurry up and get out of there. I even remember thinking, "Note to self, try not to eat out by yourself much while Philip is gone. It isn't much fun." It is actually quite uncomfortable!

As I quickly finished my Hot and Spicy soup and waved at the waitress to bring me the ticket, my heart was filled with a deep realization that sitting alone at a restaurant is really something that will become more common. I love fortune cookies, in fact, I would prefer to pass up ice cream and cake just for the delicious vanilla taste of the crunchy cookie. I always read my fortune, because they can be interesting. As I opened mine and read it, I realized that something was to be learned from this all. It said, "Develop an appreciation for the present moment."

That's all we really have. Is the moment. The loneliness that I am sure I will feel is not going to just go away. But, I realized that the time I have is precious and the moment means more to me than any 5 year plans anyone could have. In this moment, my husband is safe and in the U.S.A. He sleeps with a winter comforter in 85 degree weather and likes to scatter his Army stuff across the house. I will take that....because these moments are sweeter than the moments without him.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A New Car

Well, Philip came in on Monday and said, "Let's go and look at car dealerships." I was excited but wasn't too hopeful that we would walk away with a car. The first dealership we went to showed us the new Malibu, which we took out for a test drive. It was a very nice car, but we thought it felt too heavy.

As we were walking to the car we saw a Grand Prix.....I immediately got excited and asked, "How much for this??" I proceeded to look at the side and yes it was a "GXP", which is a rare treasure to find on car lots, because the GXP is the cadallac of the new Grand Prix. They are easily $7,000-10,000 more than the typical Grand Prix sedans because they have a different motor and are typically "tricked" out with many aneminities. My old car was a GTP and it was pretty sweet.

Well, the price was phenomenal for the car because it was a used vehicle with 13,900 miles on it. However, it is a 2008. We traded in both of our vehicles and put some money down and now we are the proud owners of a 2008 Grand Prix GXP. The insurance on it is less than we were paying for the two vehicles and we are getting a little back from the insurance company. Right now, Philip is actually driving it the most, but he says that it is my car. Guess he wants to get all the use out of this sweet car before he goes without driving for 15 months.

This car will be a very reliable car to take on long trips and it still has it's full bumper to bumper warranty!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Baby Shower

I just want everyone to start preparing for our new little addition to the Cook/Hine/Torchia family........that's right, little baby Shepard will be here in about 2 months. We all know how quickly time passes.

We are looking at a tentative date for the shower... June 7. This is coming right up. I cannot tell you the specifics as I gracefully passed the buck, but we are dealing with my all time bestest sister here and so I cannot stay out of it totally. I plan on getting on some invitations ASAP and sending them out if the date sticks. This will also work out for us and we (Philip and I) will probably drive up to Kansas during this time for a super quick visit. That way, you all can see Philip before he goes to Iraq and won't have to drive 11 hours......I will make it easy on you,,,,,just this once. I do, however, expect plenty of visits during the next 15 months!!!!!!! ;)

So here is what you need to do: Clear your calendars and go to Target and pick up some items for my favorite baby..... Registry

Well, I will keep you updated! Looks like Philip and I will have our traveling shoes on the next few weeks....


Once things slow down, I plan on using my time to do various crafting projects and post on my blogs. I will be working on moving forward in designing and making my blog more functional. I plan on adding pictures of my creations.

Please be patient, as I am still figuring out how to add photos and work my blog.


Well, the "birds" are gone....on their way to Iraq. Birds are the helicopters Philip works on. Most everything is gone from work, he is just getting the last odds and ends done.

We have had some hard decisions to make about where I will be living while he is gone. Of course, this is really my decision and I can be quite indecisive at times. So I guess I really don't have anything finalized, but I plan on staying in Killeen. I like it here and it has become my home.

We were thinking of making an offer on a home. It was an excellent starter home which needed some cosmetic work like carpet and paint job. It has a huge back yard with a pasture as the only back "neighbor". It sure reminded me of a home in Kansas..... open spaces and the whole country feel. It was located in a nice, calm neighborhood. Well, it was a VA Repossessed home and the simultaneous offers ended May 4, 2008 at midnight. Well, needless to say, Philip and I had little understanding on buying a home and when we called the realtor told us we probably wouldn't have time to get in offer in. All we needed was a Pre-Qualification letter, but I didn't know what else was needed. Trust me, I really was looking forward to doing this. I had priced carpet and labor and had got about 15 library books on home improvement and home buying. Vendee financing was available, which has added benefits like no down payment required. It was hard realizing that even though we could easily afford the $550 a month payments, we missed the boat because of lack of knowledge about the home buying process.

I didn't renew our lease here at the current house, but I think I will call and ask them if we can renew it anyway. This house is an okay place to live. The carpet is rough and the walls are bland. But, I guess I can live with it.

The A/C broke this past Friday and we were without it during some of the hottest days we have had. I just opened the windows and tried to get circulation, but there was not much.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Well, I am so excited....I played a little "game" yesterday and it worked!! For those of you that know this...I struggle with organization and cleaning... this is being brutally honest.....every since I became an official "adult" on my own....cleaning has been the bain of that "freedom"..... well,,,my husband came home and was a little disappointed that the house wasn't spotless... I was proud that it wasn't falling in.....lol! ;) Anyway, we had a morning of lecture and conversation this past Saturday..... Instead of being mad or upset at him or talking negatively in my head about my "problem" or struggle to keep things clean...I took a mirade of advice from various sources... My husband, my mom, several of my "cleanie" friends... and I set the timer for 1 hour about 9:30 a.m. yesterday. I began rinsing dishes and cleaning countertops and organizing our bills...... once the timer went off, I rested for a bit. Then in the afternoon I set the timer again for 1 hour and began working on vacuuming the floor and dusting and mopping the entry way... Needless to say the timer went off and I was still working! I was empowered... I cooked dinner and had it ready when my husband walked in at 7 p.m. from work. He was all smiles and I felt good about myself!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Random stuff

Well, it's been a lovely day here in Killeen. I was just thinking today how much I really love it down here and I am getting so very accustomed to the Army way of life.......-minus deployment of course! In so many ways, I wish I had met Philip sooner....just so that I could have had a year or more with him before he left. Everyday I cherish the man that he is and the husband that he is becoming. A friend of mine and I have talked about "newlywed" life and she coined the term of "new" husband. What a thought.....I am so very lucky to have Philip, the new husband, learning how to put me and my needs so very high on his list of priorities. Perhaps I am also learning quickly how to be a wife.....as time is a commodity that we do not have excess of right now.

Yesterday evening we played Guitar Hero III on his XBOX 360. Boy did we have a great time!!! I found myself engrossed in the songs and loving spending time with him. It's true that when you "give in" a bit and do something your husband loves....you may find yourself getting fulfillment in the process...... ;)~ Everyday I silently pray for God to give me strength to know that Philip is going to be in His hands every step of the 455 days I will not be with him. And I will always thank the Lord for blessing me by bringing Philip into my life.....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Phil's back for a bit......

Well, Philip got back from training last Thursday. He went back to work on Friday. This is a very bittersweet time for us. We are making every minute count, but we are also very mindful of the upcoming 15 month separation. This is hard, very hard. Okay, really it is incredibly painful..... Philip is dealing somewhat better than I, because he looks at Iraq as his duty to his country. I, on the other hand, struggle to understand it all completely. I am glad that we are helping an oppressed people, I just wish that we didn't have to do it at the cost of hundreds of thousands of people's families.....wives, husbands, children.....fathers, mothers..... The sacrifice that is made by a year or more long separation is beyond comprehension for many who have not had to do it. It puts a real face on the true value of marriage and family and what can often be taken forgranted. I no longer complain as much about later nights at work.......because to me, that is better than never seeing my husband for months and months......... In just 4 short months I have grown up a lot. But, I can't say it has totally helped me with what I will have to soon face. Married life is really great.....and essentially I will be a "single" person again in a month and a half.....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Let's try this again.....

Well, wow,,,it seems another month has nearly went by. It's that time again...time to go and see if Philip is going to WLC! Warrior's Leaders Course for two weeks. Honestly, it's funny what a difference a month or so makes. I have met a few friends, gotten cable tv, a new hobby room, and some new furniture and well.......I am holding up a little better at the pending two week separation..... Don't get me wrong...I have shed a few quiet tears realizing how very much I do with my husband and depend on spending time with him.

Well, my husband just woke from his "little" 20 minute nap that seems so important.... Gotta rush...

Will update more later!

Monday, March 17, 2008

New developments

Philip and I spent the whole weekend cleaning......the house looks so clean and organized! Philip really did a lot of it, although I did a lot of the"surface" cleaning like vacuuming and laundry and such.........

Today Philip said goodbye to something near and dear to him....his ZX6 motorcycle....... a nice guy from San Antonio came up and bought it. I even hated to let it go, but for practicality purposes, it had to be done. Philip will be leaving in a couple of months and it will free up a bit more $$ monthly for our home and leisure activities...... I knew I wouldn't be riding it while he is in Iraq, so we sold it.

Also, today, we decided to invest some of our income tax return on some new purchases. I got a heavy powered vacuum cleaner(It really sucks!--lol! a Philip joke) and drum roll......... we made our first major purchase as a couple and bought a new washer and dryer!!!!!! I'm super excited. No more trips to the laundry mat! Yippee!!!! Trust me, it was getting quite old lugging several huge piles to the laundry mat and sharing your wash with all to see!! This should help keep the house looking uncluttered, as I usually had piles before I actually would go!

My hubby and I got some book shelves to and Philip put them together and put all my books on them. They are nice big ones with about 5 shelves and cost less than those you buy at WalMart. There are definitely benefits to the Army PX (Post Exchange)!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I am doing a bit of Spring Cleaning......okay,,,to be honest, I am doing a massive overhaul of the garage. With school and adjusting to married life, there are still a few things that I have yet to "master"........... I have been able to generally keep the presentable parts of my house really nice....

Anyway, long story short, I realize that I keep A LOT of things....specifically sentimental things..... Like pictures, birthday cards, graduation cards, etc............ Everything that has sentimental value.....I keep... I have decided...maybe I should take up scrapbooking!!!

I must say, I used to be anti-scrapbook......I thought it was too hard.....but, actually, I think it would be a wonderful way for me to organize my memories and use some of my creativity!!! :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Marriage....the greatest thing....

Marriage truly is the greatest thing. I love my husband....for so many reasons, but I would have to say that overall the number one reason is how much I see God move through my husband. Sure, things aren't always a walk in the park....that is the case with every marriage. But, my husband is able to speak to me as if it is God speaking to me. I love that.

Every day I have with my husband is a blessing. Not just because I love spending time with him, and I do. It's because I grow myself.

Marriage takes mutual submission. I read about it over and over again before I was married.....but once you put it into practice, there is so much peace,,, it is unbelievable! It is no wonder,,,,because it is God's plan!!

What I have learned is that if you stop thinking about what your husband should and can do for you and instead think about what you can do for him,,,there are fewer arguments....and your home is one filled of love.....

Marriage truly can be the greatest thing....... a testimony to God's great love for us....the sacrifice he made on the cross..and the immense joy you can find in relationship with him!


It snowed here in Killeen last night. It had been raining for the last day and even thundering!! Something that is a rarity down here in this part of Texas. As a Kansas girl, I hardly believed it when Philip called me at 3 a.m. to tell me it was snowing!!! I said, "You're lying". Hehehehe! I said, "It won't stick, I know these things, I am from Kansas!"

Philip came in at 7 a.m. singing....He whispered in my ear, "It stuck!!". I got up and looked........I'd call it a "dusting" more than a snow.......It made me sort of chunkle.......... by 2 p.m. it was gone.........melted off....... Like a dream,,a distant memory.......... LOL!! ;)

It did rouse memories of my home state.......I was starting to miss rain, snow, and the general daily changes in weather that Kansans joke about!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Hate Gunnary

There is this little thing called Gunnary in Philip's line of work. I don't even know if I spelled it right, but it is the pits. Evidentally, they work lots of hours, non-stop. Sorry, but that is the simplified version. But, a bit more technical description is that it is when the Apaches go out and practice shooting targets some place out in the boondocks........... This translates to tons of more maintenance work on the Apaches for Philip to do. So, since he is not at WLC---which I thought was a super duper blessing---he is now working 12 hour shifts 7pm-7am. No weekends off. :)

I guess all jobs have their "perks"..........hehehehehehe!! Ironically, this is also my Spring Break from school and I am not scheduled to tutor until this weekend. I'm planning on catching up on reading and possibly watching a few BBC Jane Austen miniseries.......they are my fav!

Think lemonade out of lemons!!!! :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Little Life

Nameisasecret Shepard

I feel like a kid standing in front of a candy store,,,in my case, "Bookstore".........that's how excited I am about my favorite nephew, "Name to be disclosed later" Shepard.

I am not the one having the baby or even feeling the terrible, horrible pain of childbirth--sorry cannot resist. But, part of me feels connected to that little bitty guy.

I'll tell you one thing, Aunt Courtney will definitely be spoiling him.

Oh, and he is registered at Target. So get on over there and get him some cute stuff!!!


Well, as I am learning with the Army,,,everything can change in a blink of an eye. My husband is comfortable in bed next to me, thanks to Army politics........ it seems that 4th I.D. was not allotted the number of entrants for WLC and since several of the higher ranking NCO's have yet to go to WLC, Philip doesn't have to do it. Philip is happy. I am too. I know that with Iraq, we most likely won't be so fortunate, but I believe God really blessed us here!

In the nature of all good fun, I sat in the car waiting for the "news" for nearly 7 hours. I tried to sleep, but I am far too picky, so I got some great academic reading done!!! LOL! ;)~

For some reason, don't ask me why, my husband is watching Dragon Wars, which he protests is a good movie. As my sister Hollie and I would say, "It's LOW RATE" Better yet, it's a C movie pretending to be a B movie............. it's that bad. Still, he finds it thrilling and fascinating.....go figure. I wouldn't recommend it to a blind, deaf man........... lol! But, there are Apaches in the film,,the true reason Philip is "pretending" to like it. If you really want to see what he works on for his job, I recommend you skip to the middle part of the movie, watch 2-3 scenes and then turn it off.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'd Like White Cake with Sprinkles, Please.

It's a piece of cake. Hmm........no, it's not.

My husband is leaving tonight, well 1 a.m. to be precise. He is going to a training for 2 weeks. Warrior's Leadership Course (WLC) to be exact. I have pretended like I will be fine. Tried to play it up in my head. "Oh, I will get the whole bed to myself!!" and "Yippee! Unlimited Romantic movies without complaint!". Or my personal favorite, "I will only have one person to clean up after!" These things have ran through my head over the course of the last few weeks and days. I have this nasty little habit of shutting out reality sometimes. It just depends what it is.

The thing is, my house is not complete without my husband. Being an Army wife is not just about the fact that we marry a man in a uniform....it's not about the fact that we "knew" what we were getting ourselves into. It's a fundamental principle that civilian marriages may at times take for granted: time. I learned early on in my marriage, perhaps the hard way, that my ideas of marriage would have to essentially be thrown out the window. It's not that you cannot live by some of the same principles, it's that the basic model of wife and husband living together day in and day out that is challenged. Deployments aside, the Army way of life encompasses every move we make and breath we take. Early days and late nights. Tired husbands, emotionally and physically. Of course, some of the benefits are there. I love the PX and Commissary. I absolutely love the flying helicopters I see daily. I love seeing my husband in uniform! ;)~

But, it's nights like these, waiting for my husband to leave........knowing that June will come sooner than I think. It's those times that Army life is far from a piece of cake. Although,,,right about now, a piece of moist white cake with sprinkles sounds delightful! ;)