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 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.