November 30, 2007

deja vu.


Uhm, I guess I already rocked this hair. LOL. I forgot about my hair from about a year and half ago. Hmmm...so, should I do it again??

completely contrary to the last journal entry...

Is the one from 23 October 2006. This one will show you that life goes on even when husband's are deployed. I re-read this and it makes me laugh. Here we go...

Well, baby, I can honestly say that today's phone call was the first one since you've left that you hurt my feelings. I don't think you did it on purpose and I know you have your reasons, but tonight's phone call really sucked!!

I tried to impress you about my cooking the twice-baked potatoes and then you told me I was fat (sidenote: he probably didn't, I was just angry). I had to repeat everything I said because you were talking more to the guys around you than you were listening to me. You asked how dog training class went, when it has been OVER FOR WEEKS!! You wanted to hang up up way before you even had to. What the hell was that?!

I know this won't be relevant at all by the time you come home - at least I hope not! But I felt like I had to get it off my chest.

I don't want to email this to you because you won't see it as a big deal. And perhaps it's not in the grand scheme of things. But tonight, you just really hurt my feelings and made me feel the most insignificant. I hope whatever it is that was distracting you was worth it.

I'm sorry,
Cassandra

I'm sorry. You know I love you, you just really pissed me off!

I'm sorry. I love you.

I just miss you and when things aren't perfect, I don't know what to do.

(sidenote: Isn't this hilarious!?)

November 28, 2007

could i rock this look?

Concerning her hair color: Yes or No?

extended your hand.

I messaged a friend of mine on myspace about how I wanted to go back to Texas and teach at our old elementary school, St. James Episcopal. He wrote me back the sweetest message and I thought I would share it. What a wonderful feeling to have someone remember me this way:

It was also the first place [St. James] I remember you from as well. You were super nice to me!

I remember getting hurt on the playground once and I was crying and you came up to me and extended your hand to me and took me to get a bandaid cause I cut myself... and I remember being scared that they were gonna pull my loose tooth out and you just smiled at me and I sat there and let that lady yank it outta my face. I think it was Mrs. Seal or something... I don't remember her name, but I remember her face. haha. It was a grand time for all. It wasn't until highschool that I was like, "I remember that girl!" then when we did UIL i was like OMG, she's freakin' awesome! hehe.

This isn't to hoot my own horn. This is just to remind us of how one simple act of kindness can affect one person for a life-time. And it also brings back to mind the simplicity of childhood. Love was so easy back then.

Thank you, Chris. You made my day.

the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss.

Oh, the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss.
It's better, my darling, I promise you this.
The next time I hold you,
I'm not letting go.
Will you wait for me, darling?
I need to know.

When the mornings are warm and the valleys are green,
I'll come back from wherever I've been.

71 more days of waiting...

November 27, 2007

17 october 2006: the journal.

Sweet Baby, :)

Why are you so good to me? You always know exactly what to say and how to say it so perfectly. On the phone tonight, all I could do was cry, cry, cry. I had had a horrible day and the sound of your voice reminded me of how much I miss you and I couldn't keep the tears inside.

Your whole tone changed and you asked, "What's wrong, baby?" And at that moment, I fell in love with you all over again. It wasn't the words you used, but how you spoke them. You loved me so much at that moment and I could hear the sincerity in your voice.

That made me feel so much better. You are absolutely amazing and the best friend I've got. I'd be so lost without you.

I miss you so much and think about you every moment of every day. They distance has been so hard, and yet I love you more today than I ever have. I suppose this deployment has its good qualities. I appreciate you so much more and my forever love for you has solidified.

I will never leave you, I will never give up on us. I will be the hand you hold until the day you die. You are my man for life.

I love you increasingly,
Your Wife

11:14 p.m.

a plethora of thoughts.

  • First, and most important, as of right now, the "rumor" concerning Aaron coming home early is a fact! There's not too much I should reveal on the web, but yes, indeed, my sweetie will be home about 3 weeks earlier than originally scheduled. (Of course, all this could change, but it sure is nice thinking of it remaining this way!)
  • I wrote an editorial, my final editorial, for class tomorrow which I'm sure is going to offend the masses. I don't even want to post it on here (and I will not be coerced into doing so) because, yes, it is that provocative.
  • There's only 2.5 weeks left of the Fall semester. Hallelujah!
  • I almost lost it a minute ago when my dog, in a drunken-dream stupor, stuck his tongue out of the side of his mouth. I thought he was having a seizure. But he's not. He's fine.
  • I have finally consolidated my list of gifts for Christmas! Now it's just time to buy, buy, buy.
  • Aaron's Christmas package for Iraq is off the hizzie. He's going to love me forever.
  • I'm going to a "Stamping Up" party on Saturday and I'm really excited about it. Shannon J. is going with me and then we're going to come back to my house and eat and watch movies. Life is good.
  • I'm about to post a journal entry from last deployment now.
  • I should go to bed.
  • Isn't the Hug Mug awesome?!

November 26, 2007

hug mug.


I saw this amazing product featured in my Star magazine. (Yes, I subscribe to Star! But only for the pictures! LoL). It's called the Hug Mug and is available at maxbrenner.com

The mug is designed to be cradled in both hands...

I already added it to my Christmas wish list. Well, I added a set of two because I can see Aaron and me sipping hot tea and morning coffee out of the Hug Mugs...together.

How's that for warm and fuzzy??

November 25, 2007

jump.

Has anyone heard Celine Dion's new CD? My Dad "burned" it for me and gave it to me over Thanksgiving. I listened to it while I took a shower and then again on the ride to the movies. It's actually pretty good!

Her new single, "Taking Chances," really inspired a thought in me tonight as I drove the 20 miles to meet Shannon.

I realized that the most meaningful and best times in my life were those where I jumped headfirst into something, completely unaware of the outcome, pride nowhere in existence, blind as a bat.

Those scary times where I just "took a chance" have proven to be the best experiences of my life...the most important being my relationship with Aaron.

In the beginning of "Taking Chances," the lyrics are the following:

"Don't know much about your life/Don't know much about your world,/but I don't want to be alone tonight,/On this planet they call earth./You don't know about my past, /and I don't have a future figured out./And maybe this is going too fast./And maybe it's not meant to last,/But what do you say to taking chances,/What do you say to jumping off the edge?/Never knowing if there's solid ground below/Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,/What do you say?"

I had heard this song before on Oprah and I didn't really care for it. But tonight, when I listed to what she was really saying, I listened to it again and again all the way to the movies. The lyrics at the beginning of the song were my thoughts exactly when I first met Aaron.

I was scared out of my mind, I had no idea who he really was, I didn't know if we would end up being anything long-lasting, and I sure was afraid to trust someone again.

But I jumped with reckless abandon at the mere thought of what "might be."

And it was the blind jumping, my friends, that has brought me to this beautiful place in my life. I've never been happier.

I guess I've kind of always been that way - a rebel spirit - if you will. Easy faith is boring. Hard faith, faith in the things you can't see, is what inspires me. Having faith in the unknown has brought me life's best gifts. Having faith in what was already there turned out miserably.

So cover your eyes and jump. You might be surprised.

i was enchanted.

I loved the movie! It was wonderful! I laughed, I cried, I looked at Shannon and said, "This is so cheesy!"

It is definitely a Girl's Night movie. Men would hate it!

Patrick Dempsey...I mean, my husband, was of course wonderful and sexy and charming. The "princess" in the movie was hilarious. You have to keep an open mind and remember that this film is supposed to be silly.

I definitely recommend it!

back to reality.

I sit here, writing yet another paper for class tomorrow. It was so nice to be mindless for the past four days.

I'm nowhere near through with my paper, but I'm meeting Shannon J. at the movies. We're going to see "Enchanted" and I am so happy. I told my husband (Patrick Dempsey) that I would see his latest movie on the day it was released. Unfortunately, I'm a few days late. Hopefully he won't be mad. :)

I can always do my paper when I get home, right??

And good God, why is he so hot?!

how much did you gain?

From the last time I checked (right before going home) to this morning, I gained back three pounds over Thanksgiving.

Thanks, Mom! Thanks a lot!

November 24, 2007

baby butts.

(there's another post below this one, by the way)

Here's Andrew Butts, son of Loren (yes, that's a man's name) and Jen. He's amazing.

Shannon and I "babysat" for him tonight while Loren and Jen went on their anniversary dinner.

Pure perfection. And sweetness. And wonderfulness. And cuteness.

the rumor mill.

(Shannon J., you were around for this, so it's old news).

Everyone else: There's a slight, possible, cross-your-fingers chance that my husband will be coming home early!! No, he won't be getting home tomorrow or anything like that, but there's rumored to be about a three-week-early-end to his current deployment.

I don't suppose I should go into the reasons why for security reasons (blah blah blah), but basically, having them come home about 3-4 weeks earlier will make life in the squadron easier.

I heard this "rumor" about a week after he left. I brought it up again tonight with some people who actually work at the squadron and they both confirmed the rumor as fact.

How wonderful will that be?!

I don't get my hopes up too high because in the military, things change like the setting sun. But for you praying folks out there, it sure wouldn't hurt for you to send a special request up for me.

I hope this rumor comes to fruition! I want my baby home!

November 23, 2007

the giving of thanks has come and gone.

I don't really have anything interesting to say, but I felt the need to put something up here....anything.

Thanksgiving was a good day. I slept until noon, ate some cereal, and went back to sleep until 3 p.m. Wow. Talk about lazy.

Then we ate dinner - which was amazing! - and I snuggled back up in my bed and watched TV for the rest of the night, including Grey's Anatomy, which was weird.

I got to talk to Aaron for about 20 minutes yesterday, too. He really put a pep in my step (this was after the 3-hour nap, of course).

I asked him if he ate Thanksgiving dinner and he replied, "Twice!" LoL. He ate it for lunch and then again for dinner. He was on his way to the gym when we talked. He said he really needed to work out because of all the crap he ate. I told him that that's what holidays are for :)

I won't go into how much it sucks not having him around. Why bother? It's common knowledge.

So, I'm about to jump in the shower and go SHOPPING! Ahhh, therapy! I can't wait! I plan on sending Aaron a stocking for Christmas (I can send real gifts, but there's no point because what I plan on getting him this year would be pointless to have in Iraq) and I need gift ideas!! What in the world do you send to your husband in Iraq?? All they do over there is work, go to the gym, watch movies, and play XBox. DVD's and a video game are a no-brainer, but I need other ideas!

Help!!

November 21, 2007

yawn.

Goodness, it's early (for me, anyway). *yawn*

I couldn't sleep well last night. It seems like if I have anything "important" to do the following day, I wake up about 10 times constantly worrying about that "thing." I was the same way when I was teaching. God, it was awful. I'd wake up at 3 a.m. thinking about lesson plans! Not fun!

I'm up so early because I have to head to the airport to go home!! I am sooooo excited about being away from everything for a few days!! I deliberately made it a point to NOT pack anything that relates to school. It might bite me in the butt when I get back, but whatever. I need a break.

I also wanted to pack nothing but pajamas. I don't even want to go out at all when I'm there. I guess I need some R&R.

*Another big yawn*

I think I need to jump in the shower. I would so love to go back to bed right now...but I must get ready!!

I wonder if that coffee is done brewing yet?

November 20, 2007

is it thursday yet?

No?

Ok.

a hard night.

Today wasn't so bad. But tonight was miserable.

Actually, today was kind of crappy. I woke up at 9 a.m. to let Texas out of his crate. He peed in it, something new that he's started. I'm thinking maybe he has a urinary tract infection or something because he's not one to mess his "house." Anyway, I put him outside and just went back to my bed. Yes, I left the crate the way it was. I just didn't care.

I stayed in my bed until noon. Awful. I didn't want to get up because the only thing I had waiting on me, wanting me, was a messy dog crate, laundry, and homework. Talk about motivation...

Eventually, I got all three done with time to spare. I took a shower and got ready to go to class.

Class was actually great. We turned in a section of a HUGE paper that's due at the end of the semester and I got a lot of positive feedback about mine. It was a huge ego boost...a much-needed ego boost. I drove home from class feeling confident and happy. Life was good.

Then, out of nowhere, about two hours ago, an overwhelming sadness took over. I got a message from one of my Air Force friends on facebook and she's having a baby boy. The pictures of her and husband together are so beautiful and the sonogram pictures of her new little one are amazing. I am so happy for them, but it made my heart ache for Aaron. I just let it go...and cried and cried and cried.

What's strange about these deployments is that sadness can hit you like a ton of bricks when you least expect it. When everything's going well, one little photo can remind you that your life is incomplete. And a reminder like that is hard to bear.

So here I am. It's 12:30 am and I should be doing homework. I think I might just go to bed.

I miss him so much.

November 19, 2007

must be nice...

to be my dog.

Think about it. He gets to pee in his crate and then have someone else (me!) clean it all up for him while he's playing outside. He gets to go outside and eat grass and sticks and then throw it all up later and then have someone else (me!) clean it all up for him.

He gets to bring mud into the house on his dirty paws and then have someone else (me!) clean it up for him.

He gets water whenever he's thirsty.

He gets a big helping of food each night which includes Missing Link, a special supplement that will hopefully protect him from joint problems later on in life.

He gets to sleep while I work on homework until 2 a.m. every night.

He gets a "chewy treat" when I need him to be distracted because I'm cooking, cleaning, or again, doing homework.

He gets to sleep by the window and watch all the cats and leaves and people.

He doesn't pay rent.

He doesn't have to be outside when it's cold...or hot.

When he does have to go to the vet, he goes to the best one in town.

When he has to be kenneled, he goes to the best boarding available. In fact, they don't call it boarding, at this place, it's called the "resort and spa." Seriously.

Since when did my dog's life become better than mine?!

November 18, 2007

new verbs.

I love that we (as a generation) say the following in some way, shape, or form:

1. I googled it.
2. She myspaced me.
3. I facebooked him.
4. I swiffered the floor (sara!)
5. He IM'd me.
6. We Skyped earlier.
7. We texted back and forth.
8. I iTuned that song.

I crack up everytime someone uses those nouns as verbs. (I do it, too). Hilarious.

pillsbury's pumpkin bread.

I made some last night. And it's really good! I'm actually eating some right now for "breakfast."

It's probably loaded with sugar, but whatever.

It took 5 minutes to prepare and I think it's pretty darn good, considering it's from a box.

the tears run like water.

Geez! Has anyone else heard Josh Groban's new Christmas CD? Have you heard his rendition of "I'll be home for Christmas?"

If not, throughout the song, real-life voice-overs of military personnel address their families and they talk about how they wish they could be home with them for the holidays.

Kill me now!

November 17, 2007

check out our new speicals!

Yes, it's "speicals," not "specials."

That's what was written on a chalkboard hanging on the door of one of Cabot's upscale boutiques next door to Quizno's where I got dinner tonight.

I can't wait to go back to see their speekals!

Ah, Arkansas. You never fail to perpetuate all your stereotypes.

50 things about me.

Here are 50 things you never knew (and probably didn't want to know) about me. I assign Meredith this project.

  1. I will never be an "early to rise" kind of girl. I've never liked the morning-time. Ever.
  2. I cannot watch a movie without purchasing or making popcorn. Even if I had just eaten a massive dinner. Always gotta have the popcorn.
  3. I have a terrible gag-reflex when I'm sick. Mucus makes me want to throw up.
  4. I am desperately intrigued by math, but am desperately awful at actually doing it.
  5. I don't know what I'll be when I grow up.
  6. The thought of having children scares me to no end. Sometimes I wonder if I'll even have them at all.
  7. The day my dog, Texas, dies is one I dread absolutely.
  8. I can predict the future - sometimes.
  9. I'm a confused little thing. I belong in the country with wide open spaces, but I long for the city life of Carrie Bradshaw.
  10. I always seem to have chapped lips.
  11. I am seriously considering chopping my hair off again. It's getting so long, it's almost annoying.
  12. I will never have big boobs - the one thing I always wanted.
  13. If I paint my nails and just one fingernail gets chipped, I either peel off all the polish (even on fingers that weren't messed up) or I take it all off with acetone and paint them all over again.
  14. I am a procrastinator when it comes to school work. I think in my arrogant nature, I decide that I'm already so smart and with that in mind, save my work to the very last moment because whether I work on it in advance or punch it out before class, it will be glorious.
  15. I really want to do Christmas cards this year, but we have no Christmas picture because Aaron is not here.
  16. Speaking of Aaron not being here, I think we're fighting a senseless war.
  17. "Kite Runner" has been one of the best books I've ever read.
  18. Coffee is the nectar of the gods.
  19. I have big feet.
  20. I used to be very meek in my opinions and would let people walk all over me. Now, I think I'm too opinionated and should just shut up once in a while.
  21. I am praying to become a more positive person. I've spent about 3 years as a Cynic and it's taken its toll.
  22. I want to move back to Texas and teach at St. James Episcopal.
  23. I take my EC-4 teaching test in about three weeks and have not even cracked the manual.
  24. I love celebrity gossip and if that makes me feeble-minded, so be it.
  25. On that note, I will always love Britney Spears, regardless.
  26. I wish I could do a back flip.
  27. I could make a career out of reading novels and blogs.
  28. Publications fascinate me. It is always Christmas seeing your name in print.
  29. My carpet is never clean.
  30. I am trying to grow out my bangs and they look hideous in the mean-time.
  31. I miss being on a stage.
  32. My one regret about high school is that I did not try out for cheerleading. I bet I could have made it.
  33. People used to say I could have been on SNL.
  34. I went to my first (and last) gay bar while I was in Chicago. I learned a lot of new and interesting terms like "fag hag," "top"," and "bottom." But I still felt like Carrie Bradshaw, so it was all good.
  35. I could be a dog trainer or a Krav Maga instructor for life. I thoroughly enjoy both activities greatly.
  36. I think most of the people in my grad classes should be slapped for being so stupid.
  37. My new favorite current phrase is "She was dandelion beautiful. Damn, she was beautiful."
  38. Light bulbs always burn out when Aaron is deployed - never when he's here.
  39. Around Christmas time, I like driving around at looking at the lights. But what I enjoy more is looking into people's houses to see their furniture and decor. My Mom is the same way.
  40. My Dad makes the best pizzelles at Christmas time.
  41. Home will always be Del Rio, Texas.
  42. I love calendars and day planners. Love them!
  43. I have a new appreciation for fabric and textures. Sometimes I think I should have gone to design school.
  44. I miss people from college.
  45. I am going on a cruise in March and cannot wait for seven days of bliss. Hence, the workout and diet. I hated how I looked in our last cruise pictures, so that alone has been my motivation.
  46. It makes me mad when women are mean to their husbands in public.
  47. I DVR Oprah. I never thought I would.
  48. I am insanely "irregular."
  49. I really want a white, BMW convertible one day.
  50. I think people need to broaden their horizons and travel and soak up other cultures. That is the best part of this life.

a new addition!

We finally got her! Check out Meredith's blog here.

November 16, 2007

the homeless people at downtown main.

I'm torn. I'm stuck between being a bleeding heart and an ultra-conservative when it comes to this issue: the homeless people, er, "people without homes", at the downtown library.

There they sit, day after day. Reading the paper, playing on the computer, writing in their notebooks.

Let me break down this conundrum of feelings I have concerning this matter. Judge if you may.

My bleeding heart says:
  • It's cold and they need a place to stay.
  • It's a public library. Therefore, the public are allowed inside. Period.
  • They are not bothering anyone, including myself.
  • It's better for them to be reading the paper than out on the streets peddling crap or begging for money.
My ultra-conservative self says:
  • It's a public library funded by tax dollars - that they're not paying.
  • The second floor is where they spend their time. I have to be on the 2nd floor because I am doing research that requires me to code archival magazines. I have no choice. The second floor literally reeks of body odor. I'm not lying. It stinks like hell. You walk up the stairs and it's like you walk into a cloud of filth.
  • I've noticed a pattern. They all leave around 5 p.m. and come back about an hour later. You guessed it - free dinner around the corner at the Salvation Army (which really burns me up for some reason).
  • Each individual takes up a whole table to themselves. I have to go all the way across the room to the complete opposite side of where I need to be in order to secure a table/workspace.
So, tell me. What do you think of the homeless people at downtown main?

November 15, 2007

what was i thinking?!

Ok, if I ever, ever, EVER, announce that I'm too sick for popcorn, e-slap me!

After picking up around the house and paying some bills, nothing in the world sounded better than popcorn off the stove-top.

I am eating a massive bowl right now and am about to watch Grey's. (life is good).

The day I don't want popcorn is the day I am dead.

my wonderful husband.

I just sent this email to my sweetheart. I thought I'd share it on here, too. (he really is wonderful).

Hi sweetie,

I just felt an overwhelming compulsion to write you this email. I just had to let you know. That I love you.

I was entering purchases, paying bills, working with Quicken and it hit me how much of an amazing provider you are. You really are.

I look around at all that we have and all the "money systems" you've created and I can't help but smile. Every time I drop a printout into the "online receipt" file, I am reminded of how well you take care of me.

I hear from a lot of women how lazy their husbands are. I hear from a lot of women that they HAVE to work in order to carry their household (alone) because Mr. Hubby refuses to be a man - for whatever reason he may give. Thank you so much for not making me one of those women. I don't know how I would ever deal with all that pressure.

You make it so easy for us to live. And live happily. And I cannot tell you thank you enough.

You're a good Daddy,
Cassandra

not quite jamba juice, but it will do.

My throat has been so sore for the last two days. And I've been so sick with a cold that food doesn't sound good. Not even chocolate. Or popcorn. Or mac and cheese. That's when you KNOW I'm sick...

So, I've been "eating" a lot of smoothies lately. I've bought them from Tropical Smoothie but tonight, on the way home from the library, a thought occurred to me. "Why not make one myself?"

I looked up Jamba Juice recipes online and found one and tweaked it a bit. Jamba Juice was by far the best thing about Corpus Christi. I really miss those smoothies. They make the best ones I've ever had...

So, I whipped up this concoction of orange juice, strawberries, lemon juice, plain yogurt, and ice. And I gotta tell ya - it's not that bad! I'm enjoying the taste (and feel) of it right now on my poor, pitiful sore throat.

I have an hour to spare before I can watch Grey's Anatomy, sans commercials. What should I do? Take a bath? Feed the dog? Catch up on homework? Clean the house? Hmm...

stupid girls.

Two parts:

Part 1: Do you ever just want to grab someone by their collar, lift them up as high as you can, and shake the crap out of them for being so stupid and selfish?

Sometimes people just don't understand what they have. If I've learned anything in my whole 25 years on this Earth is to value your loved ones and to value the life you DO have. And yes, I can honestly say that I DO incorporate that "mantra" daily. I may complain every now and then, but people who are constantly unsettled and whiney just really get on my nerves. Shut up, already!! Your life is not that bad!! (And, no, I am not referring to any of you bloggers).

Part 2: Do you ever just want to humiliate someone for humiliating you? Do you ever just want to NOT bite your tongue?

There's a crazy girl in one of my classes and although I've always thought she was a bit odd, I liked the girl...until tonight. We had to discuss the results from some data we have been crunching and working on all semester. I was very poud of my work.

That is, until after a review of my paper, this stupid girl tells the whole class that she has a "major problem" with my word choice. She said, "This will be read by intelligent people! I mean, seriously, you should consider your audience." She continued, "This just seems obvious to me. I think the common person understands how to produce averages." Also, "Do you spell the word 'site' with a 's' or a 'c'? Because I think you spelled it wrong on page 6."

I remained quiet...

See, what you don't know is that this stupid girl is also the same girl who is going to drop out of the Master's program at semester because "it's just too hard."

This is also the same stupid girl that isn't telling the grad school director this because she doesn't want him to "grade her down." Instead, she's filled out the paperwork and lied to his face, claiming that she is, indeed, returning in the Spring.

This is the same stupid girl that is dropping a Journalism Master's in order to go to nursing school because "it's more of her calling." Uhm...if she thought Journalism was hard, I can't wait until she signs up for Anatomy and Phys!

I could have called her out on all of this. But no. I bit my tongue. I took a deep breath.

And now I blog about stupid girls.

Note: Stupid girl from Part 2 is not the same girl from Part 1.

November 14, 2007

i feel it comin'

A cold. A nasty, miserable cold.

For the last two days, my throat has been itchy. That's usually always the first sign. I took some medicine yesterday in an effort to "stop" this cold from coming, but today I woke up with another itchy throat and sore muscles.

I cant' decide if the soreness is from the gym yesterday or aches and pains from a cold.

Either way, I feel like crap.

It reminded me, though, to post another journal entry from last deployment. It sounded all too familiar. Scroll down.

10 october 2006: the journal.

Sweetness,

Today is the day I stayed home from school because I'm so sick. Today has been horrible without you. I've had no one to hug or cuddle with and no one to tell me that "it'll be okay."

It's time to go to bed and I've just downed two tablespoons of NyQuil and slathered Vicks Vapo-Rub all over my chest. I am absolutely miserable and guess what tomorrow holds? Waking up early to deal with stupid kids all day long.

It's days like these that I really wish I didn't have a job. I hate it!

I nearly cracked a smile, though, before taking the MyQuil just now because it reminded me of your "nasty shot-taking" method: Deep breath. Blow it out. Don't smell. Down the hatch. Grimace in pain and disgust for 1-2 minutes afterward. And that's exactly what I did! Horrible!!

God, how I wish you were home. At least then you could have helped me with the Vapo-Rub. Haha. (Believe me, it wasn't that exciting doing it myself).

I miss you so much. I am so tired of you being gone. Come home soon. Make me feel happy again.

I love you,
Cass

November 13, 2007

it takes going to chicago to meet your ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend who is currently dating another ex-boyfriend.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of my trip to Chicago had nothing to deal with Chicago itself. Upon arrival, I was picked up by Vanessa, Omar, and a woman I had never met before.

Brief history: Vanessa and I were BFF's throughout high school and Omar was a year older than us. He and I knew each other through choir and various other musical endeavors. We went on one date and hung out a few times. It was never serious and I think lasted a whole, whopping 3 weeks. But still. One could definitely add him to the list of men in my life.

Anyhow, Omar had brought with him his girlfriend, a woman named Amanda. She was so very nice and shy and they were really cute together.

Friday night, however, revealed it all.

All of us were hanging out and Amanda and I got to talking about the Hispanic culture when she asked me if I was Hispanic. I laughed and said that I am as white as they come, but that I get offended when people insult Mexicans because I feel like I am one of them myself.

She then said, "Yeah, my ex-boyfriend is Irish, but he's lived in Del Rio all his life and he feels the same way."

I said, "Who's your ex-boyfriend? Would I know him?"

She replied, "Rick Pohler."

*Crickets*

My jaw dropped and I stared at her for about 5 seconds before explaining.

See, Rick Pohler and I dated when I was in high school and then continued dating my first year of college. I guess you could say he was my first "love." I definitely cared for the boy, but I think we both knew that college and distance would ultimately be the end of our relationship - and it was.

Years later, I've asked people about Rick's whereabouts, what's he up to, etc. A few months ago, one of his friends informed me that Rick "was living with a much older woman and had a kid."

Amanda, then, was that "older woman."

Oh, the madness!!

First of all, Amanda is NOT that much older than Rick and they do NOT have a kid. See how gossip paints people in an uglier light than the truth reveals??

Needless to say, it was a precious moment in time. Two worlds collided and Amanda and I spent the rest of the weekend talking about our experiences with this guy. I was so glad that she wasn't one of those types who was going to hate me just because I was a small part of his past.

She was actually pretty great and we had a good time together this weekend.

Once again, the little children hold wooden hands and sing, "It's a small world after all."

By the way, Amanda is an AMAZING photographer and you can see some of her work if you go here. She should have pictures of Chicago up sometime soon. Hopefully.

November 12, 2007

back from chicago.

And man, was it crazy! I'll have pictures and and all that fun stuff posted as soon as I can.

November 8, 2007

sheryl pollock: the column version

I changed this around in order to fit the criteria of a "column." It's still the same story you read days ago, but in a different perspective. This time, I'm not on the outside looking in, I write it from my own point-of-view. Read if you're interested.

I’ve been in a rut. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, soon followed by Christmas and with a husband currently serving in Iraq, and family living nowhere near Arkansas, my attitude has been anything but inspiring. In fact, it’s been down right depressing.

Time seems to stand still as the war drags on, health care remains a major thorn in our nation’s side and the standards of education plummet. Everywhere I look, evidence concludes that there is little hope for a brighter tomorrow. Forget thankfulness and merriment. I had come to the point of letting it all go.

That is, until I met my new hero, who taught me that perhaps the world isn’t so bad, after all.

I met Sheryl Pollock two weeks ago at Total’e Clips Hair Salon in Cabot. I had plans to interview her for the Sunday edition of the Three Rivers section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. I did not have plans, however, for her to completely rock my pathetic notions about life and time.

Sheryl was being treated to a free, fun-day at the salon courtesy of salon stylist Holly Carter and representative of the Arkansas Hospice Angels program, April Spencer. And it was my job to tell her story.

Sheryl Pollock, 47, was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia in July 2006 called polycythemia vera, a disorder of bone marrow that usually effects the elderly. Her prognosis is less than two years.

Since her diagnosis, Sheryl undergoes chemotherapy treatment on a daily basis. In fact, she takes five times the recommended dose for someone her size. To make matters worse, Sheryl suffered a stroke on a plane ride to a specialist in Dallas that left her with impeded speech.

Instead of focusing on the disease from which she suffers, Sheryl chooses to exert her energy on her children.

Interestingly, after a car accident that occurred when she was 12, Sheryl was told she would never have children. To her surprise, at age 40, she became pregnant with her first child, Lucy Grace, now 7, and three years later, gave birth to her son, Samuel.

She told me that before children, you live in black and white. “Now, she said, “I live in full color.”

I do not have children, but I do have people I love, and when she spoke this simple phrase, I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks. Perhaps one does not need to have children in order to understand this message. The gifts of this life are meant to open our eyes to a world in which we’ve never seen, to see life the way it was intended: vividly.

Sheryl also told me that faith is her motivation. She believes her responsibility is to not dishonor God by the way she responds to challenges. Regardless of one’s beliefs and convictions, a powerful lesson can be learned from her words. Instead of staring at our shoes and feeling sorry for ourselves, maybe the better way to face obstacles is head on. Doing so would bring honor to whomever our faith is given and ultimately, bring honor back to ourselves.

I asked Sheryl what her message is to the world, Arkansans, her family, and ultimately, myself. Her message is simple: “Live,” she said. “We get so busy. There’s always something competing for our time and energy. I believe God wants more for us than that. He wants us to just be.”

Just be when your husband’s fighting a war no one understands. Just be when news on television paints a grim picture of the world around us. Just be when you celebrate the holidays without certain loved ones simply because of geography. Look around and take note of who is with you.

As our interview came to an end, my new friend Sheryl said that one of her daughter’s favorite things to do is ride her new “big girl” bike, but that Lucy Grace still needs the training wheels because she’s not at the point of letting go.

And now, thanks to my new hero, neither am I.

grey's is back!

Finally! A good episode of Grey's Anatomy! I am permitted to talk about it now since Chelsey has officially caught up.

I cried when Bailey finally got promoted to Chief. I cried when the man said the baby hates the car seat, except when the little duck is behind her head. And I cried when Lexie told Meredith she hates apples.

Good stuff!

chi-town, baby!

I am going to Chicago for the weekend to visit my one of my BFF's from high school, Ms. Vanessa Sanchez. I cannot wait!!

I fly out tomorrow morning.

I'll say "hi" to Oprah for you...although Vanessa told me that there's a two-year waiting list to get into her studio during filming. I was a little bummed out about that one.

Chicago, pizza, Magnificent Mile, blues bars, here I come!

(and how I'm going to get all my homework that's due next week done before I leave is a really good question...)

28 september 2006: the journal

Who loves you?

Hey Sweet Boy,

You know what I miss about you right now? It's the sound of your laughter. Ah, "your laughter," like the Pablo Neruda poem. It's so, so, true.

I got to talk to you today for almost an hour after school and for the first time in a long time, I got to hear your laugh. It truly is the sweetest sound.

I smiled so big when I heard you laugh today. It's so rich and genuine - I can't help but fall in love with you all over again every time I hear it.

I'm in our bed now...(insert note: the rest has been censored...lol).

I wish you could be here. I'd make you laugh. Oh yes, I'd definitely make you laugh.

Missing everything about you,

C

November 7, 2007

i'm on it.

I hadn't posted any journal entries for a while for two reasons:

1. I've been insanely busy. Like, chicken with its head cut off busy.
2. I didn't think people were reading them because I never had any comments. Isn't that sad?

I'm up at the school right now, but rest assured, that I will resume the posting of the journal. I'm glad you were liking it!

one month.

To the day.

Exactly.

Since Aaron's been gone.

One month.

Three more to go.

Honestly, this has been the fastest month of my life. Thank God for grad school! I hope it continues to go by as quickly as it's been. That would be wonderful.

Here's to three more months of intolerable hell!

funny little gym boy.

It happened once.

Today, it happened again.

I ran into "funny little gym boy" while lifting weights on base.

Let me give you some background: Funny little gym boy tried talking to me one day. He looks about 18 years old, is enlisted, and probably has no clue that I'm 25 and married to an officer.

But whatever. That's not the point.

What makes him so funny is that he absolutely has no clue what he is doing. He thinks he has "game," but I have to try so very hard not to laugh at his efforts.

For instance, the first time I ran into him, er...he ran into me, he said, "So why is someone like you at the gym?" Seriously!

I didn't have my headsets on at the time because my iPod was busted, so I had to talk back. I told him I was going on a cruise in March and that I wanted to look and feel better.

He then said, "Your nail polish is going to scare people." I was wearing OPI's "Russian Navy" at the time. I was slightly offended.

He continued to inadvertantly follow me around the gym. Was it a coincidence that he, too, had to work shoulders, back, and abs on the same day as myself? I think not.

I thought I had rid myself of this pest until this morning. There he was again, in his super sweet PT gear and glasses. He's not a bad-looking kid. But it's just that...he's a kid. And I'm married.

So, of course, he spots me over by the free weights and just so happens to take his seat right by me. This time (thank God!), I have my iPod with me and my headsets on. I thought for sure that would deter him.

I was wrong.

He motions to me while I am in the middle of a set. I put the weights down, tug the headsets off my ears and say, "What was that?"

He then says, "Do you always wear your pajamas when you work out?" Seriously!!

I replied, "Yup!" and put my headsets back on.

I then decided that I no longer needed to be at the free weights station, and instead, moved myself to the other side of the gym. He didn't follow this time, although he did walk back and forth oh-so-inconspicuously.

I bolted out of the weight room and into the cardio room, where he wouldn't find me. Poor funny little gym boy. I don't have the nerve to tell him I'm married. What good would it do? It would make him feel stupid and make me look pretentious.

If I was 17 and single, he'd probably have a chance. But I'm not. So he doesn't.

November 6, 2007

ooh, backlash!

You may remember my recent editorial concerning Elwood Bartlett, the Wiccan who won the lottery. Well, I received this comment earlier this afternoon concerning my post. I don't know who this person is, but I felt the need to share:

Amy said...

Sorry, but the AP news video that you saw, was wrong. Mr. Bartlett isn't opening a school catering to children. This will be an institute of higher learning for ADULTS.

Mr Bartlett has donated money to many good causes, including $200,000 to the Special Olympics. For NOTHING in return. Yes, he is THAT is selfless.

THis AP reporter took a private conversation about a charity donation to keep Stonehenge protected and someone asking about a friend's wedding as a part of the same "thread".

If you still feel that Mr Bartlett is doing something "altruistic" with his donations, look into the eyes of an Athlete with Special Olympics. Talk to them. THEN tell me that they don't matter.

See, this is what is so great about journalism and the freedom of speech. God, I love my First Amendment right. I love how creating a story can allow for other people's opinions to be voiced. We are all so different and that's the beauty of life. Amazing.

However, I would wonder who Amy is and where she got her information. How does she know the CNN report I saw was wrong? How does she know Mr. Bartlett has given so much to Special Olympics? And why didn't she edit her comment before she posted? In case you didn't catch on, she used the word "altruistic" in the wrong way. I felt as though Mr. Bartlett was NOT doing something altruistic.

Definition of altruistic: unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others (opposed to egotistic).

But whatever. Using words correctly isn't all that important...or something.

However, if Mr. Bartlett has indeed given $200, 000 to a worthy cause, I, of course, take back my previous opinion.

I love backlash in the morning!

November 5, 2007

fyi

I will have the link to the actual newspaper version of Sheryl's story up on my blog as soon as it gets printed. I was told the paper will run the story this Sunday. How exciting!

Hey Sara S., you work for a publishing company, right? How hard is it to get a book published?

three weeks on the zone and...

I've lost a total of 8 pounds so far! I initially began dropping so much so quickly, that I cut back from the diet a little bit -- ok, a lot -- and gained back two pounds. Whatever. It's not healthy to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, so I slacked off a bit.

This is just proof that this diet works! I also have been going to the gym about 2-3 times a week, nothing too insane.

My goal is to lose about 8 more pounds, but not in the rapid way it was happening before. It was kind of scary. So here's to eating on the Zone diet, but allowing myself chocolate and Dr. Pepper every now and then!

November 3, 2007

live in full color: my interview with sheryl pollock.

It's long, but worth the read.

It was a typical day at Cabot’s Total’e Clips Hair Salon. Customers were coming in and out, requesting manicures, haircuts and tanning packages.

For one woman in the salon, however, this was anything but a typical day. A limo arrived at Sheryl Pollock’s Jacksonville residence this morning and whisked her away to an all-day spa treatment. The pampering began with an hour-long massage, followed by a new hair style, brunch, makeup application, a manicure and then dinner at Saddle Creek restaurant in North Little Rock.

As Pollock sat in the light of the sun shining through the salon’s front window, representatives from Beauty Control applied eye shadow to her teary eyes. Sometime between eye-liner and lipstick, Pollock said she hadn’t felt this much alive in 18 months.

Perhaps she hasn’t felt that way because Pollock, 47, was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia in July 2006.

Salon stylist, Holly Carter, was touched in a special way by Pollock, a regular client. When Carter heard about Pollock’s condition, she knew she wanted to do something special. Carter contacted April Spencer, a member of the Arkansas Hospice Angels program, and together the two arranged for Pollock’s all-day spa treatment.

“She’s always giving and no one’s giving back to her,” Carter said. “I just knew we had to do this for her.”

Spencer said that the non-profit Arkansas Hospice Angels program often provides “spa days” for those afflicted with terminal diseases. “People are afraid to touch someone who’s sick,” Spencer said. “This program provides a diversion from the every-day illness. It gives people a chance to be pampered and loved on.”

And loved on Pollock was. “I am blessed beyond measure,” Pollock said. “When I came in here, all but one person was a stranger to me. Now, I’ve made new friends. What a gift to know I mattered.”

Pollock was diagnosed with polycythemia vera, a very uncommon disorder of bone marrow that usually effects the elderly.

Pollock realized something was wrong one night during her weekend shift at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where she has worked as a nurse in the emergency room for the last 24 years. During her shift, Pollock lost vision in her left eye.

Affectionately known at the hospital as “Red,” Pollock told a doctor about “someone’s” symptoms and he replied, “Red, are you talking about yourself?” Pollock went to the emergency room at UAMS that night and was diagnosed soon after.

“From that moment, everything changed,” Pollock said. “At first, I didn’t tell anyone about it. I just researched everything I could.”

Since her diagnosis, Pollock undergoes chemotherapy treatment on a daily basis. “I take five times the recommended dose of someone my size,” she said.

In April, Pollock suffered a stroke on the plane ride to a specialist to Dallas. “It was a very frightening experience for my children,” she said.

After a car accident that occurred when she was 12, Pollock was told she would never have children. To her surprise, Pollock became pregnant with her first child, Lucy Grace, now 7, and three years later, gave birth to her son, Samuel. Lucy Grace and Samuel remain Pollock’s inspiration.

“Before children, you live in black and white,” she said. “Now, I live in full color.”

Pollock believes that she had children later in life because God knew what was ahead. “I believe God allowed me to give them life, so that they could give life back to me,” she said.

Although the prognosis for her life is two years, Pollock chooses to place her hope in what time she does have with her children.

“I make the most of every opportunity with them,” she said. “I want them to remember the ‘living’ me, not having to always say goodbye.”

Pollock writes Lucy Grace and Samuel a letter every day. “That way, I have a written legacy that I can leave for them,” she said.

With faith as her motivation, Pollock believes her responsibility is to not dishonor God by the way she responds to challenges. “I want my kids to remember this lesson,” she said.

Considering every day with her children as Thanksgiving, Pollock spoke of God’s provision in her life. “He doesn’t just give us what we need,” she said. “He gives us so much more.”

Part of this provision, Pollock said, was her special day at the salon. “This was a show of pure compassion, with absolutely no pay-off for those that helped,” she said. “I feel like today has added a year and a half to my life. Sometimes I tell people that they would want to be me, even sick. I have experienced such goodness from strangers.”

As a product of her experience, Pollock’s message to people is simple: “Live,” she said. “We get so busy. There’s always something competing for our time and energy. I believe God wants more for us than that. He wants us to just be.”

As her manicure was coming to an end, Pollock said that one of her daughter’s favorite things to do is ride her new “big girl” bike, but that Lucy Grace still needs the training wheels because she’s not at the point of letting go.

Neither is Sheryl Pollock.

Lord, prepare me.

Guess what I'm doing today...another free lance story for the Ark. Dem-Gazette! My 'boss' called me yesterday and asked if I would write a story, but this time he gave me the topic. Of course, I said yes! I had no idea taking on this assignment would leave me so anxious.

I am going up to a day spa in Cabot ito interview a woman named Sheryl. She's a single mom with two kids of whom she home schools. The reason she home schools is because she has been diagnosed with leukemia. Her condition is so bad that she is now in Arkansas Hospice. Doctors say "she doesn't have long to live." The Hospice has this program called "Angels" where they treat the patients to a special gift. In her case, she gets to go to the spa all day long.

I don't know how I'm going to handle myself.

I have been so nervous since yesterday afternoon when I found out this is what I was going to be doing. All my other stories - in my whole career - have been pretty superficial. This one, however, is intense. This is a real person with a real illness facing a real death. My God, I can't even type about it without tearing up.

I've been seeking advice from my friends since yesterday on how to handle this situation. It's not like I'm going go sit down and say, "So, Sheryl, how does it feel?" Whatever! I think I'm going to tell her to talk. Just talk. And I'm sure ideas and questions will start flowing from there. She already knows I'm coming - it's a pretty big deal, so I'm pretty sure she's ready to talk about her condition...

Wish me luck. If you know me, you know I cry at Tyson chicken commercials. Pray that I do well and that I write this story in the perfect way it needs to be told. Here I go.

November 2, 2007

spouse appreciation day

And boy, do I feel appreciated! The girls and I woke up really early this morning and headed down to the squadron for "Spouse Appreciation Day." Basically, the squadron offers a morning and afternoon to the wives so we can really see inside our husband's lives. After all the fun, we had a potluck lunch (and I ended up brining my standby: oatmeal cake). I figure the best way to do this would be to tell the story in pictures. So here you go!

Our first "session" was learning about parachutes! Of course, our husband's have to know how to "eject" from the plane in case of an emergency. Here's Shannon being the gusto volunteer that she is. She's strapped in a harness that she said would later give her a bruise because it was so tight between her legs...that sounds dirty...but you know what I mean.
This is Shannon and me before we headed up to the control tower.
While we were waiting to go inside the actual control hub of the tower, the guide took us out on the "catwalk." This is one of the views of the runway from way up top of the tower.
Here's another view.
This is myself and the necessary "catwalk" face. We were on the tower catwalk, after all.
This is myself and Lt. Shelly Munson, who coordinated the whole event. She is awesome! And looks dang good in a uniform!
After the tower, we were supposed to get to try on NVG's (night vision goggles) but we ran out of time and had to, instead, head out to the runway to get on our plane ride! Here's my little group walking out to our plane.
Here's the plane we got to ride in! On the way to the plane, we had to put ear-plugs in our ears because it was so stinkin' loud! I looked over at Laura and mouthed, "I feel like singing 'Danger Zone!'" She quickly responded, "What??!" It was funny.
Here's the three of us on-board the C-130!
This is just a neat picture. Here's a load master taking a break. Or at least trying to get away from all of us annoying spouses!
Me and Laura.
Here are some pictures of Arkansas looking out of the "porthole" of a C-130.
This is me looking out of the window, purposefully appearing over-zealous. Shannon took this picture and said, "You look like a bird watcher." (A reference to last night's Grey's Anatomy).
Oh, Lord. They let us go up into the cockpit. These poor pilots. They had no idea what was coming their way.
Now, this person (the one with the map) is not Aaron, but if Aaron were to have been flying this "ship," this is the seat in which he would have been sitting. *sigh
Headsets are sexy.
Oh yeah.
Here's an attempt at trying to look cute??
Laura looks adorable. She seriously looks like one of those sexy flight-attendants in movies. Does it look like she just had a baby three weeks ago!? The girl looks amazing!
And finally, the cockpit fun was wearing down. Here's my "I'm determined to save the world" official photo. Inspiring, isn't it? It makes me think of Capt. Jack Sparrow..."give me that horizon."
The best part of the whole day was when they advised us all to come to the back of the plane and put on a seatbelt because they would be opening the back door! In case you don't know, the whole purpose of a C-130 is to carry cargo. A lot of times, they fly over an area and just drop the cargo (i.e. pallets, materials, people on parachutes, whatever) out of the back of the plane. We were so excited to see this!! Here's the door about to open fully.

Yup. There it is. We're flying in a plane with the back completely open. Nothing separating us from the rest of the world except air.
I thought this was beautiful.
At this point in time, everyone just sat there in silence, in awe of the view, at peace. Here's a shot I took of the load master in the back. Can you imagine this being your day job? Talk about an Air Force recruiting picture!
Here's a shot that I think really summed up the whole day: Our husbands have the most amazing jobs in the world. They walk on air for a living.
P.S. And this is just a side-note. After we left the base, we went back to Laura's and watched a movie and played with baby Luke...and yeah, drank margaritas. Here's Shannon thinking, "I'm bare-foot, got the kid in one arm, and I'm drinking a margarita. How hard could having a baby be?!"


a new addition!

Welcome, Kelly (Robertson) Sellers to our little niche of blogdom!

November 1, 2007

i've come to realize...

I stole this from myspace. I think everyone should do it, though. It's nice to take a moment to reflect every now and then. We can consider this another "tag" type.

I tag Erica M. and Sara S.!


What I've come to realize:

1. I've come to realize that my butt:
has changed significantly since high school.

2. I've come to realize that I talk :
more than i listen.

3. I've come to realize that, I love:
quiet nights with my husband more than loud nights in a bar

4. I've come to realize that, I have:
a wonderful life

5. I've come to realize that, I lost:
some of my progressive ways of thinking. maybe a career isn't all that it's made out to be

6. I've come to realize that, I hate it when:
the toilet seat is wet

8. I've come to realize that, Marriage:
is the best thing that I've ever done

9. I've come to realize that:
life passes quickly

10. I've come to realize that, I'll always be:
too sensitive for my own good

11. I've come to realize that, I have a crush on:
my husband...he still gives me butterflies

12. I've come to realize that, the last time I cried was:
last weekend

13. I've come to realize that, my cell phone is:
too small

14. I've come to realize that, when I wake up in the morning:
i am always grouchy

15. I've come to realize that, before I go to sleep at night I:
make sure the door is locked

16. I've come to realize that, right now I am thinking about :
my husband

17. I've come to realize that, babies are:
a lot of work and not up my alley right now

18. I've come to realize that, when I get on Myspace:
i don't spend as much time on there as i used to

19. I've come to realize that, today I will:
go to bed, the day's over

20. I've come to realize that, tonight I will:
got to bed...alone...again

21. I've come to realize that, tomorrow I will:
go to Spouses Appreciation Day and fly in a C-130!

22. I've come to realize that, I really want to:
travel as much as I can with my husband

23. I've come to realize that, the person who is most likely to repost this:
any of the blogger devotees!

why?!?!

Why can't I think of anything to write about? I have the worst writer's block right now. I can't even do my homework because my mind just won't stop and let me think about...anything. I have fallen into this numb state. Where I just function. I'm a robot. I can't seem to concentrate on anything for more than moments at a time - unless it's something mindless, of course (like TV, myspace, whatever).

This is so frustrating.
 
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