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So yesterday was the debut of Married to the Army:Alaska.  Today the second episode aired.  I saw the first episode, but as I don’t have cable and therefore don’t have OWN, I haven’t yet watched the second episode.  I will try to catch up as I have time.

I will start of saying I’ve had mixed feelings about this show for a long time.  When I first heard of the show, I thought this is a terrible idea.  Depending on the wives chosen the show could give Army wives a horrible reputation.  Pick the right people and the world will see us as slutty, sleeping around when the husband’s gone, stuck up snobs and social climbers who think we get the perks of our husband’s job and rank, and the possibilities are endless.  Then I thought, maybe if I was on the show I could give light to the average military wife whose life is full of diapers, laundry, and here in Alaska, snow.  So I put in an application.  Then it became apparent that I was not chosen, but an acquaintance was chosen.  Ohh, the jealousy I experienced.  I went from this is a horrible idea, to why wouldn’t they choose me.  Then the taping began.  I saw and heard of events that were happening, that normally wouldn’t happen, or normally don’t happen during deployment.  And I learned that while the wives may be real, this tv show is almost as scripted as Army Wives.  So, as my bs meter doesn’t tolerate as much as it used to, I thought it might be good that I’m not a part of that.  Plus the fact that while I learned to deal with all my issues of this deployment I didn’t have a camera catching all my awful moments, or someone asking me to explain what I was going through and asking if I could elaborate on my feelings and emotions.  Add to all that, I hate camera and microphones, and can write my feelings much better than I can speak them, the show and I would have been a disaster.  As the show approached, I still had mixed feelings.  There is some stuff that has happened during this deployment that I would really like to come to light, that probably never will.  Yet, I also want this show to go well, because let’s face it, it is me being portrayed even though you won’t see me on it.  Those are my peers, and they represent me.  Then there is the personal issue, this show makes me want to gossip.  I want to talk about the back stories that I know.  I want to talk about what I’ll be seeing.  I looked forward to the show airing and planned on using this blog to review the show.  At some point in there, I remembered that gossip isn’t good for anyone.  Not the gossiper, and not the listener.  (And when the gossiper is doing her gossip in a public forum, and her husband happens to work at the same base as the show being gossiped about, it’s probably not good for the husband either.)

So the show aired, and I was able to watch the first episode.  And then it seemed as if everyone I know watched the show, my Facebook page was full of people talking about the show.  As I know a lot of 425 and former 425 ladies, this should come as no surprise.  Again I was hit by something.  While the show might have been staged and scripted, the women are still real, and they still have real lives and feelings.  One woman became the person everyone loves to hate.  And again I was thankful to not be one the show.  I know that I have moments that I put my foot in my mouth and do something that eventually makes me want to crawl under the nearest rock.  Boy am I glad that the viewing public has never seen those moments and will never get to comment on those moments.  To see those moments on tv, and then to see what everyone is saying about them, wow.  People seem to have forgotten that we are only seeing the side of her that the producers choose to air, there might be more to her.  And she’s a real person with real feelings.

Knowing that these are real ladies with real feelings, I have decided that I won’t pass judgement on the show.  I won’t add my background info.  I’ll be happy to discuss the wives on Army Wives as they are characters.  I won’t be adding fuel to the fire if I comment on how Denise should have listened to me and kept a huge barrier between her and the doctor.  That it’s okay to seem old-fashioned and unfriendly to ensure that you aren’t lonely and looking for make companionship when your husband is deployed and acting like a bit of a jerk.  As they are fictional, no feeling will be hurt if I tell you why each character needs to go to Celebrate Recovery.  (That’s a running joke between my husband and I, when any character acts the fool we look at each other and say “You know what he needs?”  “CR”)

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I sit here wondering how to describe today, what was important, or what was interesting.

The biggest thing is that I miss Chase more palpably than for the rest of the deployment.  He is nearly home, yet I ache for him more than ever.  The closer his arrival comes, the bigger the hole of his absence.  I think it is that his homecoming is so near, and yet so up in the air.  I don’t know exactly when he should arrive, just that his arrival is coming soon.  And in every little thing, I think of the difference his presence would make.  I begin to think about what dinner would be like with him again.  Dinner will be very different.  For the past months, I haven’t really cooked.  Ease has been the rule.  Making a fuss over food hardly seems worth it when feeding kids who would rather have peanut butter and jelly than Monte Crist sandwiches.  I would also rather have the time than the taste.  However, when Chase is home I delight in making fancy fare, as I know it will be appreciated.  I love seeing the gleam in my husband’s eye as he enjoys something I made just for him.  I think how nice it would be to have him to lean against for a minute as I gather strength for the next task on my list.  I think about how I want to look pretty for him.  I think about how much more fun Thursday night spa night will be with him.  I think of how goofy he’d be with the kids.  I think of how I can’t wait to see Clara kiss her daddy goodnight.  She wasn’t much of a kisser when he left.  That has greatly changed.  I think of how nice it will be to get his thoughts or guidance on decisions.  I think how I can’t wait for him to take over some of the stuff I’ve been doing.  I think of the plans I want to make with him.  It’s all so close I can nearly taste it.  That closeness only sheds light on how all that isn’t quite here yet.  But it will be here soon, so I go on with life, wanting, waiting, and anticipating.

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  Some days I’ve just been too busy and have had to decide on what my priorities are, and writing didn’t make the cut.  Some days, I just haven’t known what to write.  And other days…I’ll get to those days.

It’s funny.  I came to Alaska expecting adventure, and knowing that this state would change me.  I thought I’d become more adventurous, or something that Alaska would bring to the table.  At the halfway point of being here, I realize that Alaska was the catalyst for change simply because I chose it to be.  This change could have happened at other duty stations, but I wasn’t looking for change.  Here, just because it was Alaska, and to me Alaska meant romance, adventure, and excitement, it is the Last Frontier after all (not to be confused with the Final Frontier), I was open to whatever God had in store.  I thought it might be about seeing amazing things, which I have, although it’s only been a fraction of what this state has to offer (and a small fraction at that).  I thought it would be dealing with moose walking down my street.  That has happened as well, and it’s particularly adventurous when my children were walking down the street at the same time.  Or the time when Xavier saw the moose through the window and dove under the couch as to not meet her eye and cause her to charge.  I never thought the adventure would be learning to understand myself.

I guess I also have this deployment to thank for my adventure.  Having done the last deployment so horrificly, I was ready to be introspective this time around to root out the internal causes of that debacle.  I’ll admit, I was so not ready for what I found.

So instead of glacier hiking, my current adventure is admitting I’ve got some major internal junk that has been keeping me from being the person God created me to be.  Learning to identify it and asking God to help me remove or overcome it.  While there is time to go glacier hiking before I leave, so I’m not going to count out that activity, this adventure, while much more challenging, will be much more rewarding.  I can see now that I’ve let a fear of failure keep me from ever really trying things I’ve thought there might be a chance that I’ll fail.  I can see that in times I could have led, I’ve let fear of doing the wrong thing keep me from doing anything.  I can see that I feel so undeserving of compliments that I don’t trust the people who give them, I look for an ulterior motive.  Worst of all, I can see how I’ve let all that affect my husband and children.  But I do see it now, and now I am going to let all that stop running my life and ruining my relationships.

So I haven’t written in a while because I’ve let myself say this blog is supposed to be about Alaska, or military life, or even just being a mom, but not me dealing with my junk.  And yeah, with the wind storms rivaling tropical storms, and the rain coming down in massive amounts, there is Alaska stuff going on.  The deployment is nearly over, and we are now waiting to find out where our next duty station will be having learned we won’t be able to extend in Alaska, so there is military stuff.  But that stuff is small compared to going from a person afraid of everything to a person who may just have some confidence someday.  It’s nothing compared to realizing that my children are just mini versions of me, and changing me so that I can try to change their future.  It’s unimportant compared to learning to respect my husband by believing him when he compliments me, and not letting fear get in the way of our relationship, and so much more.

Today, I decided this is my blog, and I make the rules, so I will write whatever I want to.  So today, I wanted to write about the new adventure in town, becoming a more whole person.

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  First there was the two weeks of Olympics where I did very little other than plop in front of the television and watch sports.  I figured there was only so much worthwhile blogging about that.  Then there was the week after the Olympics.

There comes a point in deployment where things just get ugly, at least there does for me.  Last week (not to be confused with this past week) was that point for me.  I get tired of life that’s just me and the kids.  I get tired of cleaning up after the kids.  The mess only ever seems to grow and continue, and does it really matter if it’s just me and the kids living in it?  Chase isn’t around to be bothered, and we never have adult company over here.  I get tired of being the mom.  Tired of telling the kids to clean up, do their homework, not fight, tired of being referee, nurse, and entertainment director.  I don’t want to be stuck at home, in a messy house, with my kids.  I want to go out.  However, being me, heaven forbid I let someone know I just need to get out and away.  While that would be a good solution, it would require asking for help.  Instead, I come up with my own solution.  Shopping.  It didn’t take long for me to buy all the items I had money for.  Fortunately, this deployment, I am on a budget, so I knew when I needed to stop. There was nothing left that needed to be bought, and I knew that I didn’t need to keep on shopping for stuff we didn’t need.  I knew how much I had to spend.  But then my solution for the problem of mid-deployment ickiness was gone.  However, there was a light at the end of my bad week tunnel.  Friday night Celebrate Recovery.  A weekly event where I get to hang with adults, and other people watch my children.  Just that was a break enough in itself.  But that’s not all, it’s also a place where I get to look closer at my hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  I can look at what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

Fast-forwarding to Monday.  Monday morning felt like a why do I bother kind of morning.  I had chosen Monday morning to make a few phone calls about stuff I would like to take care off.  None was satisfactory.  Two phone calls went unanswered, one of those messages has been unreturned.  The one phone call I did get through just left me wondering.  I spent a long time on the phone, and didn’t feel like I did much good.  I still have no idea when the sound system will be able to be fixed in my van (it’s not broken, it just doesn’t work as we’d like it to).  I fully intended to start school on September 3, it may be Labor Day, but it’s also the first week day of September, and with Chase deployed it’s not like we’ll be spending time with him.  However, I have no idea when my school books will arrive.  The worst part was feeling like there was nothing I could do to accomplish these things I really want to accomplish.  Then words spoken often at Celebrate Recovery popped into my head.  “I can’t, God can, I guess I’ll let Him.”  I couldn’t fix those problems, but God could.  I could worry and continue to not fix anything, or I could let God handle it and do something I could control the outcome of.  So I picked another project I would like to see completed before Chase comes home and began to tackle it.  My kids may not have the official schoolwork, but as we’ve been working on school through the summer, we would just continue what we’ve been doing until we do get the official stuff.  And while I was being their parent again, I made them clean their rooms.  Monday went from a day that I wondered why I bothered doing anything, to the end of the day looking around and feeling good about all I had done.  So for the rest of the week, I stopped focusing on things out of my control, and I started controlling the things I could.

While the sound system and school books are still up in the air, I did get to see something get taken care of this week.  One of the things I could control was putting the license plates on the van, or so I thought.  I went to go take care of it, and realized that I could not remove the rear plate holder.  I could have gone into stress over-drive.  I didn’t know what to do, and, well, as until this week, I had let them sit on the counter, the temporary was close to expiring.  I couldn’t do it, and didn’t know where I could go to pay someone to do it.  I can’t think of a place that advertises a specialty in license plate installation.  However, instead of worrying and hitting the gummy bears like that would install the plate and ensure world peace if I just ate enough of them, I took a deep breath.  I thought of what would actually be helpful.  I put a general SOS on Facebook.  I called a friend who might know what to do.  She offered her assistance.  When, after bringing my van to her house, she was as clueless as I was, I still didn’t stress.  I knew there had to be a solution somewhere.  Then at Celebrate Recovery, I saw a neighbor of mine, who I’ve seen rebuilding an engine in his driveway.  So I asked him for assistance.  And lo and behold, he was happy to look at my plate holder, and say we just had to get to it from the inside and offered to come by and fix it the next day.  And now my van is up-to date plate-wise.  No stress needed.

After hanging up the phone talking to my husband tonight I burst into tears.  Not for the reason you might imagine.  They were tears of relief.

For the past month or so, I’ve been wrestling with a question of priorities.  I have limited time and energy to devote to everything.  I tell people all the time not to over-commit themselves, and pride myself on schedule with tons of “margin.”  “Margin” relates to wiggle room to do what God might be calling you to do.  Plenty of unscheduled time to focus on the important stuff like relationships and family.  Normally, I guard my schedule like a Doberman, nothing gets in.  However, as I looked at the upcoming fall, there are so many good things that I want to be a part of.  Without anything even starting, I was becoming stressed trying to get a schedule ready that would make it all work.  I knew I’d need to give up somethings, but felt guilty over it.  I felt like I still needed to do it all.

I haven’t told a soul, other than my personal journal about it.  I didn’t know who to talk to.  I didn’t want to bother my husband having to deal with being deployed and all the stuff that entails.  And I just couldn’t think of which friend to confide in.  So I was keeping it all in.

That is until tonight.  I don’t know what prompted me, other than the uncertainty bubbling inside me.  I guess I was just at a breaking point when I asked my husband if he was okay with me giving up one of the activities I wanted to give up.  The question just blurted from my mouth.  After that came a flood of I don’t think I can handle this either.  All the stress and worry came flowing out over the phone tonight.

My husband was understanding and listened, and agreed that I should refrain from over-committing myself.  We didn’t have long to talk, and I feel bad that I took up the whole time with my issues.  But I feel so much better now.  I feel a major sense of relief, having confessed my stress, and my solution to relieve that stress.  I no longer feel guilty about saying no to “good” things.  I feel empowered to make decisions that protect the time of me and my family.  I felt relief, so much so that I had to cry to release the rest of the tension that had been building.

This leaves me anxious for my husband’s return so that talks like this can become commonplace.  When we can discuss at length anything on our mind on a daily basis.  I’m so thankful for a husband who is thoughtful and understanding and I can bounce things off of.  I can’t wait to have him back.  It also leaves me thinking that I need to work on developing relationships with other people who can help me with this stuff.  It doesn’t hurt having multiple counselors, especially when the career of my main counselor takes him out of communication range every once in a while.

Today, I had a really hard time getting started.  Part of it was plain old readjustment stuff.  I could not fall asleep last night.  I was exhausted, but just couldn’t sleep.  Finally at about 2 I realized how futile everything I was trying was and took a sleeping aid.  I probably should have tried that a lot earlier, but I worry so much about becoming reliant upon the pills that it’s often morning before I’ll take them.  I was so tired and it had been so long since I’ve used one, I forgot that I normally only take a half dose.  I got an excellent night’s sleep, or morning’s sleep, but I didn’t wake up until much later than I had originally planned.  But the kid’s needed their sleep too.  Austin and Clara slept in just as long as I did.

Having had a great night’s sleep, I should have awoke refreshed and ready to start the day.  Instead I choose to be whiny and complainy.  Instead of tackling my to-do list, I was cranky that yesterday wasn’t the self-indulgent day I had originally planned.  I just wanted to go over to Julie’s and complain about all the things that annoy me.  The whinier I got, the less motivated I was and the worse I felt.  After an hour, it hit me.  My crappy thoughts were not helping me have a better day.  They were not helping me get stuff done.  They were pulling me down.  I put some Christian music on my I-Pod and decided that I was no longer going to entertain crappy thoughts.

After that it didn’t take long before I had done what I had to do around the house.  I decided to take the kids to an early dinner before grocery shopping.  We had a great time.  Then we went to the library and got our fill of movies, music, games, and books.  We will be too entertained to get too sad for the next three months (as long as we keep hitting the library).  Then the grocery store.  I purposely didn’t go yesterday, knowing that my mood would cause me to buy more snacks than we need.  I worried that I would hit the snack aisle hard today, but after a fun dinner and good time at the library, I was able to limit my indulgences to a Butterfinger at the check out counter.  I will not be able to try to eat my sadness away, we’ve only got good food in this house.  No chips, no extra candy, no random junk food.  If I want a snack I’ve got fruit, dried fruit, and nuts.

We got home with time for the kids to play some Michael Jackson Experience on the Wii before America’s Got Talent.  So we had a very fun evening.  I even set up a special e-mail account for Xavier to be able to e-mail his dad.  This day that started off rocky due to a bad attitude, ended up being a great evening with my family because I made the choice to change my attitude.

Today started off with the bummer part of R and R: having to send him back. Not only did we have to take him back to the airport, but his flight left at 1:30 am.  I was so proud of my kids.  They were very well-behaved at the airport.  Extremely silly, but well-behaved.  They love their dad so much.  Even though they were sad they were loving to each other, upbeat, and not whiny.  I couldn’t ask for more.  I guess part of it was that we all just had such a great two weeks.  They all got special time with Daddy.  They also know he’ll be home again soon, and more good times will follow.

The kids fell asleep on the way home.  I had a hard time getting them out of the van.  They all quickly found sleep in their beds once I finally got them out.  I, on the other hand, had a hard time going to sleep.  Our room was dark, and quiet and lonely.  I knew I was very much all alone.  Eventually, exhaustion found me.

As I had a very late night I slept in this morning.  I had every intention of having a very self-indulgent day.  I planned on only doing things that please me.  Life had other plans for me.  Poor Austin was very sick.  All over my living room.  I got to spend the afternoon cleaning the carpet.  It took forever to clean the carpet.  Although, it may have taken less time if I had checked the cleaner first.  The scrubbing brushes were missing, so there was no scrubbing action.  Just spraying and suction.  I didn’t notice the missing element until I finally got the carpet cleaned and wanted to wash the parts of the machine.  An important one was missing.  I put it back together, so it’s ready to go for any upcoming spills.  Although, for this bout of sickness I have Austin all taken care of.  Extra sheets on the bed, washable blankets, and towels on the floor between the bed and the bathroom.

I hope he’s feeling better tomorrow.  We need to get back to normal life.  Groceries, school work, and other miscellaneous chores await.  With all that stuff coming up, I need to get to sleep.  It’s hard though, my bed might not be empty (Austin’s in my bed as it’s the bed closest to a toilet), but it’s still noticeably lonely.

The tale for today actually started on Friday afternoon.  Knowing that I’d be picking Chase up at the airport a little after midnight, I wanted to get things planned out.  I called the airport to ask about getting a gate pass to meet Chase at the gate.  I wanted my moment of seeing my soldier come down the jetway and watching my kids run toward home.  Moments like that are one of the perks of deployment.  Well, the airport is not in charge of all that.  So I called the airline.  They told me they don’t give out gate passes at that airport.  That was not the answer I was looking for.  And didn’t give the rest of the info I wanted.  The info that told me how early I should arrive to get my pass and get through security.  But I’ve done this before.  It took like ten minutes and then I spent a whole lot of time sitting in the terminal trying to entertain a two-year-old.  This time we’d be a the airport way after bedtime, meaning my children would either be tired and cranky, or bouncing off the walls.  I didn’t want to spend an hour at the gate.  So I planned to give myself about 20 minutes for getting the pass and getting through security.

When I got to the airport, I found the flaw in my planning.  I factored for a small airport with about 14 gates.  This airport is an international airport.  Not only that, but midnight things are just picking up at this airport.  The lines at all the ticketing counters were full to the brim, and that included the airline my husband was on.  I was slightly daunted, we had about 30 minutes to get to the passes and get through security.  But you can’t get your moment if you give up.  I knew if we missed the plane we’d meet at the baggage claim, it’s not like we would miss him if we made the wrong decision.  Plus, if we weren’t trying to get to the gate we’d just be sitting around bored.  After about 5 minutes waiting to get to the ticket counter, Clara had to go potty.  She was wearing underwear.  That was not a moment her needs could be pushed to the side.  So I gave up my place in line (granted at the time we were still the last people, so it wasn’t like we gave up progress).  Turned out to be a false alarm.  But during the amount of time it took to go to the bathroom, try, and wash our hands, several more people had gotten in the line.  When we finally got to the counter it was five minutes till midnight.  The lady at the counter gave me two options.  Wait five minutes and get a pass stamped with the next days stamp, or get the passes now and try to get through security by midnight.  Chase’s plane was to arrive at 12:11.  I decided to give the get through security by midnight plan a try.  We got the passes and ran to security.  I was worried when I saw the long line, but I decided to look around and see if there might be a shorted line I could go through.  Then I saw the families with small children line.  I decided that I would at least try to declare Clara a small child.  That line was much shorter.  And to be a most wonderful line, the other families in line wanted us to succeed as well and we quickly made it to the head of the line.  As we were getting ready to walk through the new full body scanner-magiggy thing the security lady told us not to go through there.  I stepped over to where she told us to go, ready to fight my children getting patted down.  But TSA was feeling nice to the woman with the young kids.  Instead of trying to make my children stand still in the full body thingy, we were sent through the old-fashioned metal detector.  Score one for TSA.  We glanced at the clock as we put on our shoes.  12:02, we’d done it.  Then to find out gate.  As I looked at the arrival list, I saw his plane had already arrived.  I forgot that they still had to taxi and then you still don’t immediately get off the plane.  I was worried that Chase might already be headed toward baggage claim.  But I decided to keep on.  I told the boys to be on the lookout for guys in uniform as we passed people headed toward the exit.  We raced to the gate, and there was nobody coming off.  I sighed thinking we’d missed him, but I asked the attendant if they had gotten off.  No, they hadn’t.  They were just about to though.

We stood in front of the door (and slightly off to the side so that others could pass) and waited.  There was another lady there waiting for her husband.  We got excited when we was the distinctive deployed uniform pattern.  When we finally saw the head, it wasn’t Chase.  But I was sure it was the other’s lady’s guy.  He walked right past all of us.  But hey, there were three more uniforms on the way.  When they weren’t Chase either, Clara began to cry.  She wanted her Daddy.  Finally, the other lady’s guy came.  They had their movie moment, he swept her off her feet with a kiss to the clapping of the passengers waiting to board.  Then more soldiers came off the plane.  Finally, it was our turn.  The boys were excited to see Daddy, but didn’t know what to do.  Clara was torn between wanting to run to Chase, and wanting to make sure it was Daddy before she ran.  I encouraged them all to run.  As they ran down the jet way other passengers got out of the way for their reunion.  I, of course, started to cry.  I was so choked up I couldn’t even say “hi.”

In the past I would have given up after the phone call that said they didn’t do that.  Or at any point it looked like we might not succeed.  But this time I persevered.  I was richly rewarded by doing so.  I am so glad we had our at the gate moment.

Chase called from Atlanta this morning.  Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay!!!  I can’t contain my excitement about that.  He’s in the states on his way home!!!  I mean, I knew it was coming, but still knowing he’s here and will be home later today (okay, technically early tomorrow, but if I don’t go to bed I still consider it today).

So he’s coming in a bit earlier than I expected.  No problem.  I can work with this.  I’ve got my priorities.  Number one, clean sheets.  I’ve got the time and know they will be appreciated.  Number two, making sweet tea.  Easy enough, until I forgot that when Chase is home, he makes it.  I should pay more attention to how he does it.  He drinks it and likes his own special blend, so I have no clue about certain specifications.  Like how many tea bags to use.  Or how long he leaves it boiling.  Or how long I should leave the tea bags in to steep.  But I got the one cup of sweetener right.  (I hope.)  Next, look as good as possible. That included shower, shave, and curlers.  After that, there’s some grey area, what really would make the most impact before Chase comes home.  I decided that making sure I have less boring errands to run when Chase is here.  So I planned a trip to the dump and the post office.  So my hair was in curlers, but hey, who’s gonna critique my fashion sence at the dump, and the post office was a drive by.  No big deal.  Then I realize that we are in need of dog food.  Today.  Hmm, that requires a trip to a store.  But I’ve got curlers in my hair.  I’ve got some options.  #1 Take curlers out.  But my hair is still wet, so I’ll lose all curl and sexy hair I’d been planning on.  And once I get back from the store, my hair will be nearly dry and won’t have as long in the curlers as they really need.  #2 Go to the store later.  Well, by the time my hair is dry, that is time for Celebrate Recovery at church.  I really want to go to CR, it will keep me sane for a few hours when I’m nearly bursting out of my skin with excitement over Chase going home.  And I don’t want to wait until after CR to go, the kids will need baths and I want to use that time for other purposes.  #3 Go to WalMart.  You hear stories all the time about the weird things people wear to WalMart.  I’ll be the crazy lady in foam curlers today.  So we went.  I’ll admit I got some looks from other shoppers.  But you know what?  I didn’t care.  I knew my priorities, feeding my dog and looking hot for my husband.  What the people at WalMart thought really didn’t register on my radar.  So the next time you see a person looking odd at WalMart, instead of thinking how odd they are, think maybe they have better things in their life than looking good for you.

Anyway, after those things.  I could have spent the day doing other stuff.  But honestly.  Every time I started thinking about cleaning the house, my excitement about Chase coming home went from joy to oeverwhelmedness that twelve hours just wasn’t enough to whip this house into shape.  So I would make myself sit down and concentrate on how excited I am to see my husband and relax.  I’m doing my best to be the wonderful wife my husband is excited to see instead of a crazy lady stressed out about dust that my husband really doesn’t care about.

Chase will be home soon.  Don’t know when, but it should be soon.  I am happy, extatic, super excited, and cannot wait.  But my nerves are also all tied up in knots, and while butterflies aren’t in my stomach, I think frogs have began residence there, hopping and jumping around.

I’m a closet perfectionist.  You can’t really tell from looking at me, or looking at my house, but I had to find a way to live life and I just couldn’t function as a perfectionist.  However, when big events come around I easily turn into an OCD mess.  Chase coming home is a big event.  I have also messed up this event in the past.  Last time he came home from R&R I lost the dog.  When he redeployed…let’s just not go there tonight.  Ever since then I’ve been trying to make up for those mistakes.  And while the house might past muster for even a came home from a month long TDY, I want things to be perfect.  It’s been six months since he’s been home.  I want to show how much I appriciate him by the sparkliness of everything in the house.

I started last Thursday.  I got the living room perfect, I dusted.  And Alaska is a dusty state, there is already a nice layer of dust over everything.  I shampooed the carpet.  It’s already got spots on it.  I know exactly where those spots came from, I cleaned the car today.  Cleaning the car, the kids got wet.  After the kids got wet, they played in the yard (which happens to have dirt, which happens to stick to wet bodies).  After playing, the kids came in the house and tracked dirt everywhere.  (This story reminds me of the story going around Facebook, If You Give a Mom a Cookie.)  White carpet may just be the bane of my existence.  Honestly, something shows up that needs to be cleaned everyday, but I just don’t have time to drag the steam cleaner around all day long.  I now dream of the linoleum that looks like hard wood.  It would be so much easier to maintain.  Anyway, on Thursday, I cleaned the dining room chairs.  Sigh, they are again in need of another cleaning.  One thing has stayed clean (for now), the couches still look good.  But Chase isn’t home yet, the kids have plenty time to take care of them too.

I’ve also been grocery shopping.  That one makes me sigh, as well.  The kids and I eat differently than we used to.  And I’ve figured out how to make things that we eat fit into our budget (most weeks).  But I want to have the things around the house that Chase always craves, soda, chips.  Plus I want to get some treats for him (not going to reveal what I got, got to try to keep somethings a secret).  I blew the grocery budget.  However, it’s a special occasion, and I’m pretty sure that the food I got for a week will last more than a week, so I’m not going to stress over that one too much.

I cleaned the car.  I almost don’t want to admit that I did so, because I did such a horrific job.  And I skipped on an important part.  Shampooing the carpets and seats.  The car is in bad need of those things getting done.  But we are having an Alaskan heat wave, and by the time I finished vacuuming I was done.  (Yes, an Alaskan heat wave, all of you who are dealing with temperatures over 80 can call me a wimp.  What can I say, I’m spoiled to the cooler weather up here.)  That and a security system salesman distracted me.  But mostly the heat thing.

I was feeling pretty good with my progress, the house looks better than it did (for the most part, I think) when Chase was home, and I don’t have him to help with all the extra stuff that he does.  Why am I so pent up now?  I blame my computer.  Our computer has been iffy for a while now.  It’s just old.  I don’t know how old, but I’ll guess around Austin’s age, so six-ish.  It seems that in computer years that’s sixty-ish though.  After Chase left I decided to see what I could do with it.  I installed some new anti-virus, PC-optimization software, and I got it working.  Not working great, but no more unexplained crashes (unless, Xav