Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Lump and the Wires

OK So I have this weird knot in my neck. It's been there since Thanksgiving. And without going into the long overly undramatic story... I thought I had cancer, but apparently I am just borderline diabetic. Anyway... still going to see an ENT about the knot. And in the meantime... going to really really really get serious about losing weight.

During all of this which happened over the past week, we decided to put the girls through their rite of passage experience of getting braces. They handled it like troopers, but they'll probably end up losing more weight than me this week because neither one of them can chew anything. But they're just the cutest things... all that slobber and speech impediments.

Anyway, since it's been a while since I reported in and really with good reason since I have done nothing to advance my turtle progress... I figured I'll report that I'm down one more pound over the past two weeks. So, that is something I guess.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Turtle Hurtle

Drum Roll Please.........

Turtle Progress Day ??? I LOST 6 POUNDS!!!!!! It's a small hurtle for this turtle, but I cleared it!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

All the Fluffy Ducks that I Don't Give

I think I have finally reached the age where I can honestly say I just do not give a Fluffy Duck about people and their FLUFFY DUCKIN drama. I sometimes abbreviate Fluffy Duck, but I figured for the family atmosphere... I'll refrain. But if it tells you just how UP TO HERE I've had it...

So... as you know I'm a band mom with lots of band mom drama... Ever see Dance Moms? That horrible show where that horrible woman screams at kids while their mommas sit in the observation room and get all catty with each other. Well being a band mom is not like that... it's more like passive aggressive mommas emailing each other in an attempt to belittle each other until tempers flare and everyone is pissed off. Because you know sooooo many people can portray true emotion through written words and there is never ever any room for misinterpretation.

In my mind, joining the band boosters would be like joining a great group of parents who love their kids and become good friends.... well, I guess I have the disadvantage because I am friends with Sir, the director. This must be the equivalent of having "pariah" tattooed on my forehead. "Don't be friends with her, she is in with the boss and might report you or say bad things about you or do something worthwhile that makes things really great, but we will never give her credit for it because she isn't one of us."

There is one particular mom... we'll call her Scabby. Trust me... It fits. She is constantly questioning every Fluffy Duckin thing I do. Everything. If something is wrong, it is because I was given wrong information. Have I ever made a mistake... absolutely. I own the mistake. But I swear to the almighty, she is trying to FIND that mistake and can't just quietly address it... she has to passive aggressively COPY every other board member to point out said mistake. Sometimes I feel like I am purposefully given wrong information so that it looks like I failed. (paranoia much?)  I. Am. Over. This. Fluffy Duck Her!!!!!!! Scabby needs to back off, or I will lose my mind.

I'm having a pity party, I know. But it is lonely being the new kid on the block with the toughest job on the board. It makes me sad that I can't just be a band mom and love the kids and to heck with the rest.

Ok, so I lied. Obviously I do care about the drama because it makes my life so much harder than it needs to be. I'm just ready to move on.

Turtle Progress: My diet is getting easier... Not so much eating differently as much as eating less. I figure I'll never be able to convert my family to eating like California yuppies, so why stress myself out. Just eat half the normal portions and be OK with that. Oh and I did a workout routine called "The Dirty Thirty"  sounds as bad as it is.... my arms....... can't lift them.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Yoga Bear

Ever see a big ball of marshmallow bend in a bunch of oddly satisfying contortionistic maneuvers? Well you should have been at my house tonight. 


I have always been rather flexible. I can bend and stretch with ease. However, when you have too much junk in the trunk, on the hood, hanging out of the windows, and pushing the tires to the bursting point... Well it's not so easy to just bend over and touch your toes. I could do it fine if I didn't have three king size pillows worth of fat in the way. So new goal... Keep doing yoga until I can do the stretches and poses without difficulty. But that will only work if I lose the fat. It's a vicious cycle. 

Tonight William told me I wasn't very good at trying to be skinny. And then realizing what he said asks, "that wasn't offensive, was it?" That child. 

Baby turtle steps. I'll get there. 

No progress

Turtle progress is non existent this weekend. Not a pound lost. Nothing but eating and laying around. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The last words...

It snowed. A lot. And not just here, but like everywhere. The country got blanketed in about a foot of snow this weekend. It's really beautiful. And it's a good excuse to sit here in my pajamas all day.

But before that nasty snow hit, we all went and traded in our phones for an upgrade. I wasn't really thinking that I would lose every single one of my text messages. Not that it really matters, but I'm a hoarder when it comes to my conversations to people. Especially people that I know I'll never talk to again... So, I made a screen shot of the last conversation I ever had with my friend Dawn. Saved it on the phone, but when they transferred everything from one phone to the other, that screen shot was gone.

Ever started sobbing uncontrollably in front of a complete stranger? Sobbing so hard you can't even explain why you're crying because your throat completely closes... it was horrible. That poor kid at the store... He helped me get my text messages off the old phone and helped me email that last conversation so I could keep it. I never did explain why I needed it so bad or even what it was. He knew. There was no way he couldn't know the way I was carrying on.  It's been a really long time since we lost Dawn. And I've not really had a serious cry about losing her in a long time. Or maybe my hormones went into overdrive, but I know I freaked that kid out at the cell phone store...not to mention the other patrons there. And I know I freaked my husband out too.

But really, that conversation... the last words we said to each other... they are so full of meaning.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Boost me Up

So, I mentioned that Emma was in high school now. It freaked me out for about 5 seconds, but she's handled it like a champ. Almost straight A's... something like a 3.79 GPA or something. The kid amazes me. Joined the marching band... Beta Club... and is in all honor's classes. She told me her career path was to become a Congresswoman. Lord, help us all. She'd be amazing at that. If anyone can get her way by simple persuasion, it's her. I always thought she be a great lawyer.

Anyway, so marching band... well, that's my forte. Billy and I met in college marching band. Yep, we're that couple. But whatever. So, around March of last year, I get a text from Emma's soon to be marching band director - a guy we knew from our college days of marching band. We'll call him Sir. So Sir sends me a text, "Hey Boo, would you be interested in being booster treasurer next year when Emma gets in band?" (my nickname to most of my close college friends is BBOO, he wasn't calling me Boo like 'hook-up girlfriend') Anyway.... my reply was "HECK YEAH!!" I had been waiting for this band mom title, and here was a chance to be on the board and everything.

I was elated.

I was stupid.

This volunteer job sucks my butt! It is the most time consuming and ridonkulous thing I've ever done. I mean, honestly, you have to have an accounting degree to do this kind of crap. But I will say in my defense, there aren't many people who could do this job. And since I work with numbers literally all day long every single day, I can kinda sorta get it. It just never ends. Ever.

Anyway, Sir and I are going to have a long discussion about it. Talking with the past treasurer, I find out the the job functions I've been doing - she never had to do. So, I've taken about triple the workload from what past treasurers have done and that pisses me off. I don't even enjoy it anymore. But some of the band kids started calling me Momma Boo, which I think is awesome, and now I want my grand-kids to call me that. Honestly, the kids make the whole tedious process worth it. Amazing wonderful kids, truly.

 And here's the biggest plus and I will gladly shut up about everything because in  72 days I get to chaperon about 50 high school kids to Universal Studios Florida... or as I like to think of it.... Harry Potter World!!!! TOTALLY EXCITED!!!! I mean, like I'm beyond words excited!!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Harder to Fall

Turtle Journal - day 3

Losing weight is not near as fun as gaining it. In fact, I down right suck at it. The only times I successfully dropped some serious pounds was when I was either medicated to do so... or when Billy was gone to basic training. I have no medication, but Billy is traveling a bit, So, there's that. It's still hard though.

I have these workout videos. They suck. But William just loves them. He asks me every night if I'm ready for my workout because he wants to get in there and do it with me. It's actually very cute. So, last night when I couldn't move due the day long ridding the house of flea tasks, and he asks me why I didn't want to work out, I asked him why he did. He says, "because it won't be so hard when I fall." Um... what? What do you mean, son? "Well, if you're bigger, it hurts worse when you fall." I was so sleepy that it didn't register what he was saying. I thought maybe he was just being cute.

But now that I'm awake at 4 am and can digest this.... I'm wondering if he's having difficulty with other kids. Is some asshole knocking him down? He did get a nice punch in the stomach on the bus around week 4 of school. This momma LOST HER CRAP. Bus driver, principal, and whoever else would listen assured me it wouldn't happen again, but as far as I know the kid is still riding my son's bus. So much for zero tolerance, right?

When all of this went down, Billy and I had that discussion about how we wondered if William was just going to be that kid who got picked on. Billy suggested he teach him some combatives... you know, one punch that will kill a person. I aggressively disagreed with this notion and it was never brought up again. But now I'm wondering if we should put him back in Tae Kwon Do. He really liked it, but the after school program he was in was overpriced and they never learned anything. The free program at Fort Campbell was better. ugh.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with a killer headache... I've got more to share, but it will have to wait for another day.

Thanks for reading... if anyone is actually reading.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

498 days

We've officially been out of the military for 498 days. Quick run down...

I graduated with a Master's degree in Business Administration in June 2014.

I had been on a job hunt for a while, had an interview with the lovely people at Ford Credit, got hired.

Two weeks later, had a very successful breast reduction. If you're wondering... yes it really friggin hurt.

A month after that, we moved back to my favorite town on Earth, Murfreesboro, TN - without Billy. He came about a month later once the Army was officially done with him.

Billy got a really good job working for a really wonderful company. Then he quit to take an even better job at an even better company.

In July of 2015, we bought a house in a beautiful neighborhood using our handy dandy VA loan... it takes a really long time to get a VA loan - just saying. I love my house. It's exactly what we need and everyone seems happy now that we aren't moving... ever ever ever again. I'm going to be buried in this house.

As I said earlier, I work at Ford Credit doing a really weird job. The best way I can explain it is I am a financial acrobat. I juggle money, do a lot of weird flips and twists to put it where it goes, and pray I land on my feet at the end of the day. (in other words, I do research on the crap that screws up and can't post and figure out how how to post it.) Anyway, I like the job. It's not necessarily a MBA worthy position, but for now it's paying the bills. It's almost an hour commute one way each day... but it gives me time to listen to my audio books - I am addicted to audio books (listened to the entire Harry Potter series twice in one year... )

The kids are doing great. William is addicted to video games and has no friends. Allison has been captured by the body snatchers and hates everything and everyone. Emma is going to start driving with a permit soon... she's in friggin HIGH SCHOOL! ugh. Yeah, the kids are doing great! No, really they are good.

Oh and we have fleas.

I've decided to start logging again because I've gained a LOT of weight in the past several months. Sitting on my arse all day staring at a computer screen... then sitting in a car to get home.... then sitting on the couch b/c I'm so tired from being gone for 11 hours a day... I got fat. Really fat.

So.... true to it's name... it's time to deem my progress in baby steps... it's a really a struggle to get skinny again when I'm this fat. Off like a heard of turtles, indeed.

Today's turtle progress - did 30 minutes of Lower Body fix... weighed in at 189. Ate a bunch of crap I should not have. 

Anyway, it feels good to be back. I've missed this.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The 21st of May

There is a new song by Nickel Creek, one of my all time favorite bands in the whole wide world, that is called 21st of May. So, I listen to this song and realize it's about a guy who thinks the world is going to end on May 21st. Well, of course, no one knows the end of times. But today seems a bit appropriate for this topic. Today is Billy's phase two physical. From what I understand, once this physical takes place, this gets the ball rolling for his chapter. In other words, it's the end of our Army times. Of course, nothing in the Army is fast - so we could be here for months. But then again... they could have us out of here in weeks. I'm just needing to stay in long enough to get my surgery and finish school.

Speaking of moving, it occurred to me that by moving this summer (or soon thereafter), this will make the 7th school Emma will have attended from grades K-8. That's nuts, right? But see the best part about this is she is a champ!!! Seriously! The kid just got invited to attend AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). You have to be invited into this program and they base it on standardized testing results and grades in school. I'm super proud of that girl!!! She is so adaptable. I've always thought she was a bit more mature than kids her age (in some ways), but I think she's just been forced to grow up a little faster. Perhaps now that we can move somewhere and stay for the rest of ever, she can really start to thrive even more!

(as if write this.... Billy is told he won't be having his final physical because nobody told him to go do a mental health evaluation first... typical. I really don't see this process going by quickly.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Moving Right Along

So, we're moving on. New roads to travel down... the destinations are limitless! We have to chance to completely start over... again. Before we leave Fort Campbell and the Army, we still have several lose ends to keep us completely occupied. Almost super busy. 

First, Billy has recently been to two sleep studies where they've diagnosed him with sleep apnea. This explains his crazy choking spells during the night and his constant napping. We are hoping they approve him with a CPAP machine to transform him into Darth Vader during the night. It's going to be super fun to sleep - not sure which would have been worse... the snoring or the machine. 

Second, I'm in the process of having a procedure done well to put it delicately.... I'm a bit busty - like officially measured at 38F bra size - and due to some degenerative discs in my back caused by the ginormous headlights, I'm being evaluated for a breast reduction. Hopefully, this will take place AFTER I'm done with school in just four weeks. 

Thirdly, Allison starts fast-pitch softball tomorrow. Oh and she has grown over 6 inches in the past year. She's now taller than me. Yup. 

And finally, William has been doing Tae Kwon Do for a couple weeks now. It looks like he enjoys it. I hope it's something he will want to continue... and that it is something we can afford in the real world. 

How's Emma?? She's 13. She is making friends here which is going to suck when we have to move... again. But I think she is most excited about getting out of the military than any of us. 

So... now that I'm caught up with the little goings-ons in the Blackburn family, I'm going to study for my first of three major exams in my class - this exam will cover the things we learned in the first four classes from 2 years ago. FUN!!! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

So what's next?

Hello folks! (all seven followers of mine!)

Looks like we're getting out of the Army. It's a very long story... but the short version is this. Billy asked for help. He didn't get it. He failed. And they said 'you're out.'

Yeah, we're at Fort Campbell now. Have been for about three months. Three months. That's plenty of time to let a soldier to become established enough for a Commander to decide if he is worth keeping after failing one PT test - if you can't hear my sarcasm/bitterness, I apologize. Considering we just spent a small fortune to move here... living in a hotel for 29 days... moving into this beyond crappy military sub-standard living quarters they call a house... after they lost or broke or jacked up like 10% of our stuff while moving it...I'm done. I'm done with this Army. I'm done with this toxic environment. I'm just done.

I realize I never write in this blog anymore. I think this is mainly due to the fact that it was leaning towards a 'life in the military' genre, but really I was not able to put into words most days the absolute nonsense that we've had to endure on a daily basis. Stuff like my almost 40 year old husband having to have an NCO (higher ranking soldier) go with him when he needed to make an appointment to see the eye doctor. Usually the NCO was a good 5-10 years younger than Billy and what sense does this make? Is he not capable of finding the eye doctor on his own? He has been treated like a child since the day he left for basic training just over three years ago. We kept thinking as he'd get a bit more experience or rank under his belt, they'd back off. But it's like these young guys have such a big purpose to prove.

Billy just wanted to do his job and go home.  Out of these almost 1000 days of Army work, he's probably "done his job" 200 days worth. The other 800 days were full of "go do this nonsensical something" "go clean out some storage shed" "you need 6 copies of the last 200 pieces of paper that we've requested and lost every single time you hand it to us" So, yeah, I think we're over it.

The first day he arrived at Campbell and met with his leaders, he asked to get help with his run for PT. They were all encouraging, and yet he got 0 days of help. So, he fails his run on the first record PT test, and they decide "since he can't run, he obviously sucks as a human being and we do not need that kind of loser in our unit... he's out of here." Yet, they keep guys who never show up, always sick, don't know their job functions, screw things up constantly. None of that matters because all those guys know how to run fast. Good to know that's the priority of our nation's guardians. Run, Forest, Run.

Ok. I'm bitter. I'm angry at how things have happened. But I'm not angry that we're moving on. I'm relieved. I'm ready for a change. I'm not ready to deal with moving again. To house hunt again. To register my kids in their ump-teenth school. I just want to be normal again.

By the way... I'm in my last class of the masters program. Will be done in 28 days.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quiet. Be Still.

So, I've started and erased this blog entry seven times. I've been at a loss for words like I've never been before. When things do not make sense to me, how am I supposed to talk about them? But maybe this time, I'll make it through this post without getting overwhelmed and finally post it.

My friend Dawn died on August 27th. She was diagnosed with cancer on April 1 and died such a short time later. I kept thinking I'd have more time with her, or that she'd win the battle, or that at the very least I could get back to TN to spend the last few months with her. But that's what I get for thinking. Life just ends. No real warning. Ends. One minute she is there talking and laughing and the next she is sick and the next she is gone.

How do you even begin to wrap your head around such confusion? That's what it has been for me. Just completely confusing. I don't still have the words to say. I just can't place them.

Hurt. Lost. Confused. These words touch how it feels, but nothing captures the true feeling.

I met Dawn in 1995 during our freshman year at MTSU. I wish I remembered our first meeting or our first conversation... but I don't. I just remember knowing she was awesome and we became great friends. And we remained friends for the past 18 years. There were a few years where we lost contact, but eventually it seemed we were supposed to be back in the same circle and God brought us back together. For years.... there wasn't a week that went by that we didn't speak at least once. Honestly, there were weeks that a day wouldn't go by without talking at least ten times. I looked up to her. She had to job I wanted. It was because of her that I went back to school to get my degree and am back in school now. She always knew the right thing to say. She never held grudges. She loved everyone no matter who they were or what they did. She had a faith stronger than I'll probably ever have.

I feel like there is a million other things I want to say. And questions I want to ask.  How are we going to get past not having her around? She was the center of our little group we liked to call the Angels. Fitting, right? There are (were) four of us. The women that I've known through the best of times and worst of times. Even though we were always in different life stages, we always managed to have something to talk about. We were just that close. I could tell these girls anything. So to lose a huge part of that circle just makes it seem surreal.

I just don't know. To think about her - just gone - I feel like I've been kicked in the ribs and can't breathe. Not a day has passed that I've not thought about her, cried over her, seen something that reminds me of her. I know she is better now that she is not sick. But it just doesn't make sense.

Getting to Fort Campbell was such a priority. I thought I'd be able to get back to TN and be a couple hours away from her. But now that the expediency of the moment is gone, I feel a bit lost. I want to move, but I don't. I want to get there, but I don't want to leave here. It's all very confusing.

The morning she died I had just dropped William off at his first day of kindergarten. I was sad and weepy from that. So, when Gap Girl called to say Dawn had been put into the hospital, I felt a rush of anxiety flow through me. I knew! I knew I had to get home as soon as possible. I need to get to TN to see her and hug her and tell her I loved her. So, I'm freaking out. Doing that nervous cleaning I do. I dust the table where my bible sits next to the couch and decided to open it up. I highlighted the story of the woman in the crown who had been bleeding for 12 years. She reached out and touched the hem of Jesus' robe and through her faith was healed. I then receive another phone call. Dawn has been put into hospice. OK... that was it. I started making plans to getting the kids out of school and trying to think of if I even had money to get back to TN... when three words literally leapt off the page of the bible and I started as if I'd heard the words out loud. "Quiet. Be Still" So, I sat down. Confused, but trying to calm down, I just sat there and said "Ok, God. I'll stop freaking out." Within an hour she was gone. I know that was God telling me to let him handle it. And the most peace I have from all of this is that He was with her when she passed. He was telling me that there was nothing I needed to do. That there was nothing I needed to say. That all would be understood one day and to have faith in knowing He is in control.
Dawn knew this, too. On the day she found out her tumor had tripled in size, she told me that she may not ever understand why she got sick. But one day we would, and when that day came, we should celebrate it. Braver words have never been spoken.

I miss her. But she will always be a part of who I am.

The Angels

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I go back and read what I wrote last time... I realize I sounded selfish and possibly even hateful. But I guess it had to be said and that's that. What I said was a long time brewing and I guess after a night of less than 3 hours of sleep, I snapped. There's a little picture floating around the internet and it says, "Forget sleeping like a baby... I want to sleep like a husband."

So... moving on.

I spent the better half of Friday putting together and organizing Billy's "love me" book. What is a love me book? Well, it is basically everything that  the Army has ever given Billy in the form of paper. All his orders, his pt score cards, forms and more forms, training certificates, awards, receipts, medical slips... etc. It's a great thing to have on hand when you're about to be transferring posts. And just imagine if you will... a 3 ring binder - 3 inches wide... full from top to bottom and probably weighs about 10 pounds. That's Billy's love me book. The main reason I'm trying to get this together is that his ERB (enlisted record brief) is all kinds of jacked up. It says he never went to college, never had any army training, and basically everything that is supposed to be on there ... isn't. I'm pretty sure that it is up to his chain of command to turn all these forms in to the appropriate department to have this document updated regularly... but well... I laugh in the face of that without even being able to finish saying it. Long story short... he's got to get that crap fixed and before we leave. If he wants to have any chance of getting promoted to E5 he's got to have all this stuff straight so that his points will all be counted. (points = promotion)

Speaking of promotion... I have one more little bit to fuss about. See, Billy was on top of the list to head out to WLC (warrior leadership course) which should help him get his promotable status quicker. BUT... someone decided to flip out. And by someone, I mean the most pointless person in his unit. She is never there... never works when she is there... always messes up something that requires a major cleanup when she does work... and then never has to clean up because she always has to leave early for some kind of bull crap. (don't get me started on why I think women with small children should not be active duty) Anyway... she gets wind that Billy is on the top of the list and throws a fit and basically goes over everyone's heads and complains to the commander. Everyone agrees that she is not E5 material, but because she has had more time (like 40 days) in the army than Billy, she got him booted off the list completely. So, where we thought he'd have his promotable status coming into Campbell... that will likely not happen now. It was yet another blow to the gut. It's just not his time here I guess.

So... moving on.

Anyway. I'm supposed to be doing Statistics homework. So, bye then.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I am one person (caution: major rant)

Sometimes I just feel like I'm being pulled in 1000 different directions. A lot of it I put on myself by not telling people NO, but then some of it is just the nature of how things are right now. I never and I mean NEVER just get to do what I want to do without having to hide from anyone or explain to anyone or to make anyone upset. I was supposed to get a week's break from my kids this summer while I got to sit at home in a quiet house and do nothing for 7 straight days, but then mom got sick and I ended up having to go take care of her. (I'm not complaining... just stating that it isn't in the cards for me to ever have alone time) Sometimes I just want to sit on my couch and watch 12 hours of meaningless TV for no reason at all. I don't want to make anyone a meal or cup of milk. I don't want to take the dogs out to go to crap in the yard. I don't want to have to talk to someone about their day when no one ever asks me how my day was. And sometimes I just don't want to sit on the porch and watch other people smoke while their children tear apart my house. (ok... that's a bit harsh but slightly true). I want to be able to go the grocery and buy my nasty little diet hot pockets and have them in the freezer for me and me only and not fight with my kids about eating one every friggin day! They're MINE! I shouldn't have to share everything - like my quiet time in the bathroom or my bottle of water or my computer. My kids (and by kids I mean Allison who is surging with unfamiliar hormones right now.... ugh) think I'm never there for them when I go and sit on the neighbors' porches and talk even though they are right there with me playing and fighting with the other kids. And then if I don't go hang out with the neighbors they start to think I'm getting all Glitter Mama, Soccer Mom, or Luck Lady on them. (three neighbors who used to come around a lot and then one day just stopped). I should never complain about this because I haven't had this kind of friendship since college almost 20 years ago and I wouldn't trade it for a million bucks - which I could really use right now since payday was yesterday and we are down to $11 in the bank. Do not join the Army for the money.

I don't even get to sleep in - and by sleep in I mean not being woke up at 4:20 in the morning by my husband who wants to talk about whatever before he goes to PT. Just let me SLEEP! I don't even get to sleep when I am asleep because I have to wake up in the middle of the night to take the damn puppy out or he'll pee all over his kennel. And when he does make a mess, even though there are four other capable people in this house, I'm the one who has to friggin clean up after the little pissy crapper. I give my kids chores so that they'll become productive human beings, and so I don't feel like I'm going to snap from cleaning up after every single person who just feels like leaving their junk all over the house... but then I spend more energy reminding and reminding and reminding and when they finally do it, I spend even more energy trying to make sure they do it right the first time so I don't have to spend EVEN MORE energy yelling at them to come DO IT AGAIN! So... ok... house is clean... kids are "in bed," husband is asleep... dogs have pooped, dishes are done, floor is vacuumed, and I finally get some time alone. What do I get to do in my spare time???? FRIGGIN HOURS of FRIGGIN stats homework, which by the way is the hardest thing I've ever done in my FRIGGIN life! So when I finally get to go to bed at 1 in the morning, I get to sleep MAYBE 3 hours before the alarm goes off and husband wants to talk. And if I don't talk, I'm the bad guy because he is never ever ever home and I never ever ever get to talk to him and he just wants some damn attention every once in a while. He wants attention. I want sleep.

 I am one person. With two arms and two legs... so how is it I'm being stretched in fourteen different directions? This is what happens to people before they end up on the show "Snapped."

OK... rant over. I put in our housing application for Fort Campbell. The sgt, who is trying to get Billy early report date worked out, sent him a message four days ago that she would call him with info and never did. At this point, I just want to be there before Christmas. That's four months away.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Home Again Home Again... Jiggety Pig

Ok... we spent four whole weeks in Kentucky. Mom was doing well when we left, but I think she will be lonely and oh so bored. She won't be able to drive until this coming week, so I hope her peeps back there are helping her out.

But I'm back. And I never quite got to share our experiences at Fort Campbell. First of all, the drive was super easy from mom's house to post. That was an awesome plus! No major interstates - just all simple county roads. It was very beautiful. But we got to meet up with my buddy who I met online, who is in the same boat as me (new to the army) and her husband is stationed at Fort Campbell. It is kinda cool. So, we had some coffee and talked about Jane Austen movies - that's why I love her so much - and then me and the kids took off to post.

Fort Campbell was nice - a lot smaller than Bragg and a LOT easier to figure out the streets... hardly any one-way streets. But we managed to drive through every single neighborhood that we would possibly get into and by the end of the day, I realize it won't matter where we live... really. If we end up in a shack with three and a half walls, then that's fine. I can't stress about it. I'll put my application in (more details on that coming up) and request a garage and a fence - and then just hope for the best. Billy on the other hand is not so sure about Fort Campbell housing. It seems as though he has become spoiled to the housing here on Bragg - which is sooooo much nicer. Well, I say that... Campbell does have really nice housing. For E6's and above. If you are a lower enlisted, they basically say "No Soup for YOU!" and that's the end of it. But the lady at the housing office said I could go ahead and put in my application now (even without orders) and at least get in position. The required documents won't be there, but it'll be an open application and that's what matters.

So, now I'm like ready to go tomorrow. I just want to get this over with. I don't like not knowing what is going on. As if you didn't already know that. Billy is talking with one of his old sgts that moved on to Battalion and she is trying to get his request for an early report date. But from the looks of it, it is still going to be around December at the earliest. That's OK with me I guess... that is only four months away. I can get my bucket list of things I want to see and do in NC done in this four months. Well, maybe. If I have any money in the world. I want to drive out to the Outerbanks, to Myrtle Beach, and the Biltmore. Three major road trips in four months. Bleh. Yeah, I don't know how feasible this really is. I have other things on my bucket list as well.... like clean out the garage. But I just got home. I need a week to be unproductive before I can start any major projects.

Speaking of projects.... I am in my second week of Applied Business Research and Statistics. ERMAHGERD! It is 100% Greek. Like literally. The symbols for the formulas look like ancient hieroglyphics.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Order of the Bullspit

Ok.... prepare yourself for a major vent session about this thing called Army politics. OMG! So, I think I mentioned how Billy just really hates his job. I lied. He really loves WHAT he does, just not the people he works with. Now for the record, I'm not there at Billy's job nor do I know everything that goes on. I only get the snippets that he shares with me which may be enough or may be tainted with bias. I don't know. All I know is that Billy is PISSED and OMG we need to get away from there before he has some sort of heart malfunction due to stress. Which is ironic because the reason he is so mad is over a doctor's appointment. The office made the appointment for him. He did not request the time of day. It was given to him. It just so happened to be during PT which really upset his Sgt. A woman we shall call Umbridge. (this is not her real name, nor does she favor the Umbridge in terms of looks... but certainly in attitude and character). OK... so Sgt Umbridge tells Billy he has to come in and do PT before he goes to his appointment. Error Number 1 - Billy should have just gone, BUT he decided to make a fuss and pissed off the wrong people. His complaint was that he would not be able to make it to his appointment on time and would then get in trouble for being late or missing an appoinment. So, he tells his squad leader who then tells him to go straight to the appointment and not worry about PT. Fine. Done. That was two weeks ago. Well....... Umbridge pulls Billy aside today and tells him that he missed an appointment which is a HUGE big no-no, and unless he can prove that he was there he will get a counseling statement. What the crap? So, fine. He goes to the clinic and asks for some sort of documentation that he was at the appointment to which he is told they do not give such documentation. Error Number 2 - he didn't demand something or explain why he needed it. So, he goes back empty handed and Umbridge decides that Billy is lying and said he went to the appointment when she thinks he didn't. "I must not tell lies" tattooed into the hand - can you see it? Yeah.... Ok so Umbridge tells the squad leader to write out a counseling statement saying Billy missed an appointment. He refused. Good old Neville trying to stick up for his friend. So, then comes Error Number 3 - Dumbledore (the commander for all intensive purposes) sees Billy all upset and asks him what was bothering him to which Billy responds "Nothing, sir... I don't want to talk about it." COME ON! He was the one person who could have saved his neck and pleaded a good case up against the ministry, but Harry... I mean Billy... didn't want to bother him with his problems. So, Umbridge meanwhile tells good old Neville that if he doesn't write up this counseling statement he is being insubordinate and could get a demotion. OMG. So, Neville does it. He brings the statement to Billy to sign and apologizes for not being able to stop the insanity. But Billy is so upset at this point that he refuses to read it or sign it or take a copy of it. [update: absolutely nothing happened with this by the way. He got another counseling statement the next week for his monthly review and there was nothing about this incident on there. It was almost like it never happened. I don't know if she figured out she should have just gone about it a different way or something else. I am just waiting for someone to pop out with some truth serum].

Speaking of Campbell, he is trying to get another Sgt  - one that is actually very nice and helpful  - to help him get his early report date paperwork started so we can get out of Bragg as soon as possible.

Meanwhile I'm still here in Kentucky. It is day 18. I have to say that last week was wonderful. Yes, I was up and down taking care of mom at all hours, but it was quiet. And calm. And QUIET. Now, my kids are back. Which they spent 12 of these 18 days in Tennessee with their other grandmother. But they're back with me now and you just forget (how is it possible to forget) just how loud and messy they are! I missed my kids, but now I miss the clean and quiet house we had for all that time. And then to add insult to injury, we were supposed to leave and go home to my husband this weekend. BUT... my replacement care giver (we'll call her CAT) came by today to inform us that she was headed out to California for two weeks on a business trip. So...... looks like I'll be staying at least until the 31st for mom's last appointment. It just makes me so sad and I just miss Billy so much. Especially when I know he is so stressed and we are seriously broke as a joke. So he's stressed and broke. Not a good combination. Like we have a whole 8 days until we get paid and he literally has $12 to his name.



Friday, July 19, 2013


I have a super power. I have this incredible ability to say something and then have it appear within the next couple of days. It is freaky!!!!! But true... I wish I could explain. But I can't really. So I will just give you examples. 

Mom and I walking down the road, we are making silly conversation and I quote the movie "O brother where art thou." So later that night it was on tv, we turn it on and the line that I quoted was on at that moment. 

We watched a movie with Hugh Grant in it and I got to wondering where good old Hugh had gone. Mom mentions that his career took a dive after his indiscretion with the hooker. A couple days later in the book I am reading, the character discusses the episode of Leno where Hugh apologized for his actions. 

I made a reference about Ten Second Tom from the movie "50 first dates" and that movie comes on the next day. 

I cut my finger on a piece of ice in the freezer, got mad and said "you icehole." An hour later a guy on tv called another guy an icehole. 

We were talking about how Johnny Depp is such a weirdo and all the weird roles he has been in. I asked her if she had seen him in that vampire movie "dark shadow" and she hadn't. Neither have I. But we get to the doctor this morning and the magazine on the top of the pile was Johnny Depp in his vampire makeup from "dark shadows" back in May 2012. 

Yesterday I told my aunt to shut the door she was letting out all the bought quote from "Sweet Home Alabama"   -  it's on tv right now. 


My sister and I call this The Chi: The universal energy that flows through you and connects to the things of the world around you. 

I wish I had this ability when it came to anything Army related. In fact, it is usually the opposite. Anything related to Billy's job that I say outloud almost always turns out completely opposite. 


Ever hit your head so hard it knocks you silly for a minute? Well, that is what just happened to me. I'm having a Doc Brown moment when he discovers the flux capacitor. I feel like screaming "1.21 gigawatts" out the front door at the top of my lungs. But not because I've had some major epiphany but rather just a monumental pump knot on the top of my head. Long story... but I was cleaning out mom's fridge and didn't gauge my clearance to the freezer door and just whacked the $^$#$%@#$ out of myself. Heck, who knows.... maybe I will have some serious mental breakthrough and start writing my incredibly amazing novel that I've been contemplating writing for the past 25 years. It is going to happen... one day. It. Will. Happen.

So, yeah... Billy is not liking me being away from home so long. (I've been gone since July 4 - 15 days). When I left, I told him that this was my deployment. I had to leave on a mission to take care of my mother. I've been called to duty! I can't help it, and I'm not sure how long it will be before I will get to go back. Imagine if you will... not being able to move your hand above the height of your shoulders. Or pick something up weighing more than a paperback book. Or not being able to extend your arms to your sides. Or lay flat. Or pour your self a drink. Or stand up in the shower. Bleh! She can walk and talk and eat and go to the bathroom - all just fine. What she cannot do is anything else. For four weeks. Her surgery was July 10. That means she can't do anything until August 7th. Anyway. back to the point... Billy is getting a real taste of what it feels like when the spouse leaves on a mission for weeks at a time. It sucks! He HATES it. I get it! I have been there... you guys were there with me when he left me for basic and AIT and how things went dark and darker while he was gone. He would tell me just to try and find things to stay busy and blah blah blah. I remember getting so mad at him. Like it's so easy to find something to do. But now I get it. He is bored and lonely and just wants us to come home. "I'm trying honey... but it isn't something we can rush" Hopefully, (and I don't mean this to sound vindictive) but hopefully he will get a taste and it will be enough for him to really understand how much it sucks to be left alone for so long. And trust me... he doesn't even have the kids to deal with. He's got it made - from my perspective. Do you know how much I would pay just to be able to stay home alone for 20 something days without anyone to talk to or cook for or drive somewhere or clean up after???? He's living my dream, really. A short term stay-cation. Alone. In silence. OOOHHH the list of things I could do!!! But that's neither here nor there... I'm not ever going to get such a thing and I would never wish my time away from my family unless it was necessary.... and this is certainly a necessary mission.

I love writing again. My head is throbbing and I'm seeing spots... but HEY, I'm writing - two days in a row!! It's a concussive miracle!!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jar of Hearts

So, I'm sitting here with my mother in KY. My kids are spread out all over TN. Billy is home in NC.

Mom just had double bypass surgery and so she needed someone to just help her function for the few weeks after. I felt it was the least I could do after all she's ever done for me. It is weird all the blackburns being separated like we are. I don't think any one is having a good time with the situation. Especially billy who is home all alone. Poor guy. But the girls have been with Billy's mother and William went to stay with Billy's dad. It is really weird. Did I say that already?

So what is going on? Well, lots of stuff. We are awaiting orders for fort campbell and hopefully will have them sooner than later. I plan on driving out there while I'm here in ky to drive around and figure out if I will love it or not. Eh... I know that's not so easy to figure out from driving around. But it is a start. I'm seriously ready to move back closer to home. Mom dealing with this surgery, my friend dawn being diagnosed with cancer - those are the big reasons. Plus billy hates his job at Bragg. They just aren't a great company to work for and we are seriously praying to get the heck out of dodge before they try and pull the rug out from under us. I can't imagine it will be all sunshine and rainbows here at campbell, but anything is better than where he is at now.

I'm not sure i will be so ready to go when it is time to say goodbye to my darden street family. These girls have been my true support system, my mentors, my laughers, and my sisters. One day I will sit down and write out my story of each girl. I always have a hard time writing about people really close to me that I know will read my blog one day. Even though I would never publish anything bad about them, I just feel like I could either be overly sensitive about what I say and say something too good and seem fake or under sensitive  and say something they would It's a mess.

Wanna hear a funny story? William ate styrofoam and we ended up having to go to the ER because they were afraid it was stuck in his windpipe. And no it's not like we could just pack up and go to the er up the road, they had to send us by ambulance to the children's hospital an hour away. That was a fun night! I bet you're like How is that funny? Well it was hilarious because only my child would get choked on a colored piece of styrofuoam. Kids are supposed to put peas or rocks up their noses. My kids inhales styrofoam.

Anyway I just felt the need to write tonight.
I've got an idea for a book, and maybe I just needed to see if I still had any bit of interesting things to say at all. I just don't know. I still think in blog mode all the time and I constantly crack myself up. But that isn't sayin much.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Trying to clear my head, vacation, and avoiding homework


So, I'm writing this post as a means to clear my head in order to write a paper on regression analysis of which I could care less. I'm just not in a mood to analyze anything, much less regressively. hence, a new post in my very abandoned blog. I suppose I can write about our recent vacation.

Vacation! it was lovely! Truly Lovely! We spent six wonderful days in Florida and two days on the road between there and home. We got to stay in a family members condo out by Clearwater beach and we had the brilliant idea to go during Spring Break. Someone must have sent out that memo because everyone else in the world had that same wonderfully brilliant idea. Sigh... despite not being able to breathe due to the crowds, we enjoyed ourselves very much. The ocean was still in the mood for winter glory and was beyond freezing. We'd let the kids play in it for about 30 minutes and when their lips started turning blue, we had to pull them out - kicking, screaming and trembling uncontrollably. But the sand was neat to play in and a nice alternative to frost bite. The sun was warm and breeze was cool.... there were quite a few moments that I literally felt my body relax for the first time in months. That was worth it right there.
During our trip we also went to see Sea World. What a fun amazing day that was! We were there 30 minutes before they opened and stayed 30 minutes after they closed. A whopping 14 hours. Not to mention we drove there (2 hours away) and back all in the same day. So from 5 am to 1 am the following morning we were doing the boot scootin boogie - All. Day. And if I heard the word Orca once, I heard it 1000 times. OMG! William was OBSESSED with seeing the whales... oh excuse me, orcas. He'd correct anyone he heard calling those big black and white giant sea creatures by the term whale. Heaven forbid!! He corrected me in the middle of a crowd of people, "Mom, I already told you they aren't whales, they are ORCAS!" Which created a chuckle from those around us. Man oh man, that child. My favorite moment was the Turtle trek where we watched this really cool 3D movie showing the day in the life of a sea turtle. I cried. I can't help but admit that one. I just loved it so much.
Other things to mention about our vacation include: how we ate practically free at Outback one night, we ate a ton of crap all week, we visited the turtle park which was totally cool, we did some shopping, and basically just enjoyed our time as a family. Note to self: next time we go, we will not go in April when the water is freezing and the crowds are crazy.

In other news, looks like Billy got semi-official orders to report to Fort Campbell in February. We've told our loved ones and such, but he told me today not to get too excited because it is months away and he still doesn't have papers. So, I'm of course already packing.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Special Specialists

So, Billy finally got his E4! About two weeks ago. It was very anti-climatic really. I mean, he was informed of this promotion via text message. And not even a personal "congrats" text, but a group text giving instructions on what to do the remainder of the week and at the very bottom was, "oh and Blackburn gets his Specialist on Friday." Like... really? Even the ceremony was non-ceremonial. I didn't even get to go. Oh well.

But now that he's got his promotion, he can start looking at re-enlistment options. So, he went up to retention, and they look at his Army transcripts and all that stuff and determine what he's able to do next. He really wanted to reclass (change jobs) because he's just so not loving his job right now. But that could mainly be because of where he's at. I don't know. Anyway, they gave him a list of options and we picked our favorite three. He goes into retention and they said, nope to all of them because they all involve going back to training and all the schools were unavailable. As of this moment, his one clear option is something neither of us really expected. And it will involve a move. But I'm not going to say where yet... not until we get the OK from Uncle Sam. I'm really not upset with it, but it isn't what I wanted. I really really really wanted to go to Germany. I know, I know... that's crazy. But he went in to retention the first time and they were all like "oh yes! Germany is a go!" So, I started looking at the whole Germany idea. The more I thought about it, the more I got excited! I really want my kids to be able to experience something like that. But low and behold, he goes back in to retention and they said, "oh no! Germany is a no-go!" Stupid people. That's why I'm not going to announce this possible move yet because if I do, it'll change. And I hate backtracking. It's a waste of time.

All that is just on the burner for now... what really has me all excited is our upcoming trip to FLORIDA!! We are leaving in 3.5 days!! I'm just soooo ready to get away from this crazy cold weather and get Billy away from his company for a while. I wish I was escaping school, but alas, I'm in the middle of a new class and will be taking my assignments with me. Fun. Fun. Fun. I'm taking a math class right now. Or really, an algebra class. You can just kill me now. sigh...

So... Billy's re-enlisting, probably when we get back from Florida. All the kids are doing well. Life is just peachy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Club

So, yeah several months ago we started a book club. Me and two other ladies... Lady on the Corner and KT. We invited a few to join and a couple have, but the group has mainly consisted of four. We take turns picking a book and then have a month to read. The lady who picks the book has to host the monthly meeting where we sit around and discuss... It's been fun and even though we've started to fizzle out over the holidays... I think we're getting back on track with the new year. We've read everything from sappy romances, to questionable romances, to massive astroids wiping out the planet creating a new reign on cannibals, to southern women cooking, and even some crazy people stuck in a hotel for the winter. Oh yes, and we did read some vampire and ghost fiction as well. All good stuff.
Our newest book is a zombie thriller. Not my cup of tea, but I've committed and will therefore read it. Heck, I might even love it!! I'm trying to come up with a book for when it's my turn in a couple months. I always like to do a theme to my hosting. For example when we read Fried Green Tomatoes, I served fried green tomatoes. When we read Cannibal Reign, I helped prepare finger sandwiches. When we read The Shining, I made a rum cake - out of real rum and I'll never make another rum cake ever.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It Doesn't Have to Make Sense...

My husband joined the army almost two years ago. I forget the date exactly, but I remember it being super cold and snowy and January. Here we are two years later and I have to say, life has been..... well I don't even have a word for it. Does he love the Army? Well, it depends on what day you ask him. Things change constantly that there is no point in me going over all the details of all the things he was going to do and then didn't get to. Or the things he did that he didn't even know he was going to do. It's just been a ride. A big frantic ride.
But to catch you up a bit... about a month ago they started to asking for volunteers for a the "D" word. He asked me and I told I would support whatever decision he made. So, he volunteered. But then they denied him because... well we aren't really sure. But we think it's because he's been made the company's radiation officer and because he's the only one who really works like he's supposed to. He really wanted to go over there, and I know he was super disappointed. And to make matters worse, three of my girlfriend's husbands (whom we've all become very close with) are about to deploy in the next few months. Even Jonathan is getting to go - Billy's friend from his youth. I try and think about how it is just all part of God's plan and the timing just isn't right for him to go - if he ever gets to go at all. But that doesn't mean he doesn't feel low about it. Can you even believe I'm upset right along with him? I never wanted him to go in a million years. But I see how important it is for a soldier to do their part. To make the big contribution. Being home and playing in the gas chamber just doesn't feel like he's getting to be much of a soldier. Just feels like he's got a job and gets yelled at because he's still a private and privates get yelled at a lot. And don't even get me started on his promotion - or lack of. I could go into more detail and name names about people who he feels kinda screwed him out of getting a chance to do something worthwhile there in the Army, but it does no good to point fingers. Everything happens for a reason. One that we may not be able to see or understand, but one day it will all make sense.... because it sure doesn't make sense right now.

Moms know best

The gals on my street have become very important to me. I love them all and can't think of any way I'd have made it through this Army life if it weren't for them. We've certainly had our fun!! I feel like I'm back in college sometimes.
And now that we've all gotten to know each other so well, I thought it was time we start to grow with each other as well. Well, really my mother and Lady on the Corner's mom planted the seed and asked that we start living a more spirit filled life. So, we've started a bible study / devotional/ prayer group... not really sure how to label it yet. But we're starting this tomorrow. I'm Super Excited about it. I just don't know how to prepare for it. I feel as though there are a couple of us who could lead the group since we're probably more comfortable with that type of thing. So, I just pray we are able to create a place where the women on our street can come together and start to build each other up. Bring some positive words and ideas into our heads. Especially since so many of the husbands are going to be leaving us here alone, it is a good idea to have this support system. Not that we aren't already a support system, but have one with a higher guardian is much more effective and comforting.
Not only that, but we need to bring each other encouragement on how to raise our kids right. On how to be better wives. Better friends. Better women. I'm sure this is what I need for my own self, and I hope that by including these wonderful women on my journey, we can all bring something out of it.

I just pray we do.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ANNNDDD We're Off!!!

So yeah... I started my first class in my Master's Program today. I have to admit, yesterday I was really feeling down and quite frankly a little scared to death about this school thing. It was only magnified when I tried to look at the other students' biographies in my class. We're talking some high executive professionals, some major international traveling corporate gurus... and then there is me... "the stay at home military spouse." I feel just a little out of my league. Well that was yesterday. Today I go into the first class discussion and these folks are no different than me. They even make grammatical errors. Thank you Lord! I'm still a bit intimidated because I have so little to bring to the table, but then again... maybe I don't need to bring much - just pick and chose what I want to carry home with me. I could very well learn a lot from these over achievers.

But speaking of yesterday and all it's crappiness. Billy's truck battery is acting all dumb. So, I went to jump his car off after his class and it kept acting funny. So, he takes it up to Auto Zone where we bought the stupid battery a year ago and we were 15 days too late. They would have guaranteed it within the year. But it was Sept 18 and the thing expired Sept 3. GGRR!!!!!! Whatever. It's up and running today - we pray. I'm going to be on call for if he needs me to come get him after his class.

What class you ask??? Well, he's in Radiation Officer school. Basically it just means that he will get to play in the gas chamber a lot. It also means that he will be posted at headquarters - we think. Lord knows that will change tomorrow since I typed it out here today. Stupid army.

But I have great news!! Little William hasn't wet himself at night for almost two weeks!! I'm still not convinced to let him get out of pull ups at night, but we are just that much closer! I'm thinking the "light switch" must have been hiding at school and he found it when he became such a big school boy.

But that's all today. I have to go spend my last $20 on gas so that I can go pick up my dear husband if his truck dies again. Wanna know how I got $20?? I sold that dern couch I've been holding onto for dear life for years and years. Twenty friggin dollars. I shouldn't fuss. I probably could have paid someone that to come haul it off for me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What have I done??

Well... I decided to start the master's program. Yup... I'm back in school! Well, I will be in about a week. I just don't know what to think about this. But I did it and there's no turning back now! I guess since William is in school for a couple hours every morning, I just needed something to fill in those hours and since I can't sit still and be quiet for that long... I figured "Go back to school!" So, here we go! I remember doing school last time and how I needed this blog to kind of keep the sanity to vent out my day to clear my head before I could start on school work. Maybe this will get me motivated to keep up this blog. Who knows... I always have the intention of writing something but then never do.

So I guess you want a recap of the past couple of months...

My baby boy started school. It broke my heart to see how big (yet tiny) he was as he walked in the school gym that morning and sit on the gym floor with all of his fellow pre-schoolers. For just a brief moment I saw a flash of anxiety shadow his little precious face, but then as quickly as it was there - it was gone. Now, he's been going for three days and though he fought me this morning about getting dressed ("I don't WANT to go to school!!"), he seems to be doing very well! I've got to make sure he stops pushing his friends... according to the teacher. I have no doubt he is. But we had a talk about it.

Allison is Allison. She fell off her bike about a week ago and managed to rip the skin off her knee in true kid fashion. Bless her heart. She won't hardly walk on the leg. It's nuts. But she started 4th grade and is doing spendidly. We've decided she is the "child whisperer." She can write out a little script, enlist some three and four year olds as actors, rehearse and then perform these incredibly adorable plays for the parents. Not even lying when I say it was the cutest thing I've ever seen!! Not only that, but when she is around the little kids, she just has this way of making them get along and some how keeps their attention for an incredibly long time.

Emma started middle school. Emma started beginning band. Emma started cheerleading. Emma is starting to grow up a little too fast. It's like she is just this little woman child. And soooo pretty! I mean it! She is going to be (and kinda sorta already is) a true knock out! My struggle now is to keep her as humble as possible for as long as possible. She is dying to wear make up and I simply refuse. But she doesn't need it anyway. She's gorgeous. Like, how in the world did she get such perfectly straight teeth?? Lord knows that isn't a gene Billy and I passed down. Thank goodness that blue hair dye she put in about three months ago is finally starting to wash out. ugh.

Billy? Well, let me sum up Army life over the past two months. "Did anyone tell you that you have to do this thing today?" "no,sir." "Well, today you are going to do this." "ok" "No, nevermind, you're going to do that tomorrow." "Ok." "Well, really you probably need to do it today." "ok" "Well now you can't do it today because too many other people are doing it." "ok" "So, do it tomorrow." "Ok" "Well that is full and you can't do it tomorrow either. So you're going to do it next month." "Ok" (next month) "Sir, I need to do that thing you told me to do last month." "Well, why are you telling me, PRIVATE! Who do you think you're talking to? Don't you think I know what you're supposed to do and when to do it?" and then he never gets to do that thing at all. Sometimes I hate the Army.

As for me... Well, other than cleaning, applying for masters programs, and hanging out with friends... not too much has been going on. Ok I lied... I did have to go back home to bury my dad's parents. It was hard to digest that I lost three grandparents in a six month span. But there you have it. I did. And even though I will miss them, it was really great to get to go home and spend some time with my dad.

So there you go... a recap. I've got lots more to share and maybe I can do that soon. But I want to tell about my book club, Billy's job, and other things. Hopefully, I'll get back on here and keep this up now that I'll be back in school. back in school. Good grief... what have I done?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Afro Circus

OK so if you'll remember, our TV decided to die back in January. It was still under warranty and we were able to get it fixed and all was fine and dandy. Then back in April it bit the dust again. So, the very same repair guy came out and worked on it. He told me that the service plan we had only allowed for four visits per service contract. We'd already had three so if our TV dies again, they'll have to replace the TV. So.... guess what. Night before last, the TV went out again. I swear to you. I have no idea why this TV hates us, but there you go. So, I had to call the Geek Squad and the guy on the phone kinda gave me an inquisition on this whole TV thing. He made me feel like I was not telling the truth. But I guess he has to. I'm just not sure what to expect. All I know is that I've been spending a lot of time upstairs because no one wants to be downstairs without a TV.

Also, last night Billy and I were having a discussion. He was being crabby and he was making me crabby so I had to discuss something with him. So, as I'm hoovering over his face trying to explain my feelings (which were all sour from his being a butthead earlier in the day), he apparently had his phone down by his side, and without even looking at it found this video clip. Right as I was about to really go into my very well prepared conclusion to my rantings he whips his phone out and shoves it right into my face with this....

I seriously tried to stay mad at him. And every time the song looped, he would change position on his phone for a more dramatic effect. He'd set it straight up, then he'd turn it sideways, then he'd put it on my head then he'd put it on his head. I wanted to bite his face, but the more he played it and the more upset I got, the more he laughed. I mean like laughing so hard he wasn't making any noise, and his face turned a shade of purple that could only be compared to that of a heart attack victim. So he finally broke me when he stuck the phone right up to my ear and he let out this guffaw that just cracked me up. I guess that's his way of apologizing for his behavior earlier in the day. Yeah, I kinda love that man.

And no I'm not forgetting... I wanted to save the best for last. So, Allison turned 9 yesterday. I went and got the girls out of school early so we could go do something fun. We drove to this place we'd been hearing about called Smith Lake. It sounded like a lot of fun. We get there and it looked like a forgotten old park with absolutely nothing. So that was a bust. We decided to go back home. Allison said she would be happy just going to get a cake mix and baking herself a cake. So that's what we did. We'd already given her her birthday gift last weekend. We got her a bike - her first bike that wasn't a hand-me-down. She seemed pretty excited... if only the brakes worked. LOL!! But she's having a slumber party this weekend, so that'll be more to blog about I'm sure. Stay tuned. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

I confess

OK... confession time. Growing up, I had this horrible condition. I would pee my pants every time I laughed just really hard. As I've grown up, I don't do this anymore. I have one exception with this... and that is when my mother and my sister and I all get together... we ultimately laugh until I pee or someone starts coughing so hard they can't breathe - usually both. But like I said, this doesn't happen often. I have two theories for this... A, my bladder has gotten over its malfunction. And B, I just don't laugh like a crazy person anymore. UNTIL.... this weekend. I love my friends here. And boy howdy do they make me laugh!!! Saturday night, Lady on the Corner, Georgia Peach, KT and myself sat on my front porch swing playing Apples to Apples and had the absolute most fun. I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. But my secret was quickly revealed that my bladder likes to join in the fun when it gets that intense. So... secrets out. I'm a wetter! I am confessing to the world! Trust me, I don't care at this point. I really don't.

There's a lot of things that I've started not caring about. Like I stopped caring what people think about me. I do not have any reason why I should hide the fact that I got a tattoo about a month ago. *smile* This wasn't a spur of the moment decision. It was a commitment ceremony for Billy and I. Or at least that's how I'm looking at it. Since we've joined the Army, our marriage has been stronger and better than ever before. And I just wanted to show my complete commitment to him. And he did the same for me. He also permanently inked himself. They aren't matching tattoos. But I got the girly version and he got the more manly one. Since we are both music lovers, we went with the music theme. Mine is a heart made out of a treble clef and a bass clef. (he's the bass and I'm the treble) I wanted to get three little eighth notes around it to represent the kids, but the guy who did mine couldn't draw a music note to save his life - thinking maybe he's in the wrong profession but whatever. So I'll add those later. Billy's is the two clefs together down the middle of his forearm. His looks awesome! So, there you go. Another confession!

I also need to confess, that I'm addicted to Pandora radio. Specifically, the Broadway Showtunes station. I have been singing with my whole heart over some West Side Story, Les Miserable, Cats, A Chorus Line, Chicago... even William joins in. The other day I heard his playing in his room singing, "And ALL... THAT... JAAAAZZZZZ!" Love that kid!! Even Emma got into it. When she heard the Hairspray tunes, she ran to her room and added the station to her list. yay!

While we're at it... I'll add one more. And this isn't my confession to add. But Billy's been a closet smoker for um... many years. And a month ago tomorrow he will have been completely smoke free! He went to this class offered on post and got put on some meds and even though he's struggling every day... he hasn't smoked and is doing really good. EXCEPT... he's putting on some pounds from all this. I hope this is just temporary. He can't get big like he used to be. That won't be good.

Speaking of Billy... this whole "it's gonna suck eggs" schedule that they kept shoving at his unit a while back... yes it is still gonna suck eggs, but not as much. Looks like they're trying to give him a couple days off here and there and maybe cut back the shifts to 8 hours. So, we'll see. I'm not as exctied or upset anymore. He still comes home and eats dinner... but he's not loving it all that great. I mean they're still outside in this horrible heat - all. day. long.  So what do you do?

Lastly... if school doesn't get out soon, I'm going to pull my hair out. So ready for summer. Now... in about two months... I'm sure I'll be saying the opposite. But there you go.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jacked - it's just all jacked up

The absolute unthinkable happened Saturday evening. We lost William. Like really lost him. We eventually found him, but it was about ten minutes of complete terror. Basically, we were wrapping up at a birthday party at lady on the corner's house. So, I decided to stay behind and clean up the yard to help out a bit and sent Emma back across the street with William. She made it into the house and assumed he had followed her. No... he got distracted by his bike and from what we can gather, decided to stay outside and play. He told us that a little kid on his bike told him to "go away from his house" and so he followed the kid to the park down at the end of the street (behind our friends' house). But of course, I don't know any of this. I go home to make sure he got out of his wet clothes (from playing in the water) and he wasn't in his room. So we all start looking. Nowhere. He's absolutlely nowhere. We go back to lady on the corner's house and he's not there either. Well that's when the panic sets in. And we end up hitting the streets calling out his name. Looking behind people's houses, in the woods, back in the house, back outside. All the mommas were searching in full force. And then I see Allison running towards me from the end of the street and I see Billy running towards where she was coming from. She was shouting out "MOMMMMAAA!!" For a brief second, my heart stopped. I knew he'd been found but not really sure why she was screaming my name like that. So yeah... Billy finds him and brings him back home. We all pile up in the bed and I hold my baby boy for a while still trying to calm down. I think the craziest thing is that just last week, we had talked about "strangers" and how to figure out who a stranger is. We did this at Walmart. And he kinda understood. But then you never think about another kid being dangerous. So when some kid tells him to take off down the road on his bike, well, good grief. That isn't good. Now we have the stranger talk often. A couple times a day. ugh. Billy's schedule is really kinda jacked up. It changes every day. We have no idea what is going on. He was told he would be working 30 days straight at 12 hour shifts. Then be off for 30 days. Next he was told he would work 6 days on and one day off for a month during days and then six on one off for nights for 30 days. Then he was told he would work 30 days straight at this new job during days, then go to the company and work 9-5 for a month, then go back to this new job and work 30 nights. Oh and then he was told that their shift would end at 6pm every night. And that's when they will do PT. So he wakes up at 4 am, gets to work by 5. Works from 6 am to 6 pm. Then goes and does an hour of PT which will get him home around 7:30 or 8. That gives him enough time to eat a bite, take a shower and go to bed. Blah. Of course, this will change in about 15 minutes, like every thing else. So I'm not getting excited over anything. It just messes with my head and really messes with Billy's. Moving on... Allison had her Team Party last night. It was fine. I got a little upset that she didn't get a trophy. Only a little medal and a "daddy doll." Daddy dolls are little stuffed soldiers dressed in camo and you put a picture of your soldier in the face of it for when daddies are gone. (I'm pretty sure those can be found free online - So I'm kinda wondering where my $20 went since we didn't get a trophy) It was super hot in the room and a certain group of people would not shut up! So that made me angry. But thus ends her track season. I am certain next year we will do soccer or cheer or something else. This was crap.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who knows....

Yeah Billy didn't have a great day yesterday. He went to his class and did fine... passed his tests and everything. But as he was leaving, he was told to go back to the company to sign some papers. While he was there, he made the mistake of asking his First Sgt what all is going on with this new mission. First Sgt basically started yelling at him about "what do you mean, you don't know what's going on?" "Hasn't your squad leader or your platoon sgt told you anything?" and just kinda went on and on. Then he told Billy he had to report on Saturday at 6am for a twelve hour shift and to come back on Monday for another 12 hour shift. Blah!!! And so it begins... looks like Billy's not going to the headquarters. Looks like all the people in the headquarters are going to be the people who are no longer able to do this special mission job and people who are leaving the company. And since Billy isn't leaving and is perfectly able... well crap. Rumor right now is that they are going to be doing 12 hour days for three months and then twelve hour nights for the next three months. Then his commander was telling them that they can't take leave, go to school, take weekend passes, have any days off, and they won't get any weekends off (including four day holidays - there goes my anniversary weekend). But like I think I said yesterday... this could mean they are not a "the D word" - able company now with this mission. So which is better... having him come home every night - exhausted, not being able to go anywhere fun together, no being able to take any vacations. I just don't even know how to work this out in my mind. And maybe we are so off base and it won't be like this at all. Maybe this is all just so unknown that we won't know for a while if it's going to suck or not. Another thing, Billy found out that a friend of his from Basic died in a motorcycle crash yesterday. He was only 25 years old. How super sad!! He was training to be an explosives guy. Which is super hard and extremely dangerous, but then he ends up dying from a crash while driving around town. It just goes to show that you never know. And then more bad news... well I guess more bitter sweet than bad. Lady on the Corner's husband go orders to go to Drill Sgt school in January. Which means, once he is done with that they'll get orders to move to a training post - and no Fort Bragg isn't a training post. Sad!!!! Really really sad!! So in less than a year from now... she'll be packing up her family and moving on. SAD!!!!!! Right now, I'm waiting on the maintenance guy to come get the daggum bird out of my laundry room. See, I had called and told them that I saw a bird making a nest in my dryer vent. I saw the thing fly up into the vent on the outside of the house. So, the maintenance guy put a little mesh covering over the hole.... but didn't take the friggin bird out!!!! So he had no where to go but back into my house!I am very aggravated about this right now. But at least I was angry enough that I had to let off some steam and vaccumed my entire house up and down and even in between (the stairs).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Months Later

So what's it like falling off the face of the Earth, you might ask??? Well, it is lonely and sad and crazy fun at the same time. There's no reason why I felt I needed to stop blogging for a while. I just didn't blog. And what is weird, is I still think in blog mode. Like, "oh I need to tell the folks about this." I suppose I need to catch everyone up... Me? Well, I've been having these anxiety filled moments of paranoia and confusion. I debated whether I should share this little bit of information with the world. And then I realized that this is a very common thing with military wives. I've been to the doctor and we are working towards a solution. I've been on anti-depressants for a few years - since after Allison was born. So they are tweeking that and trying to help me get some sleep and have more energy at the same time. Yeah, sleep has been a problem and that just makes me more anxious and then I start freaking out in the middle of the night... and well... I don't know. It's nothing huge. Just a little bit of craziness. The medicine they put me on is supposed to help me sleep. But it also turned me into an absolute zombie. I would sleep so hard that the next morning, I couldn't function until at least 10 or 11. It was awful. So I started only taking half the dose and things seem to be better. This may be a reason I've lost the gumption to write everyday and keep everyone informed on the Blackburns. So, I hope I can get this train rolling again. I have so much to tell you all!! So much!!! Emma? Well she's great. We had a little trouble there about two months ago where she was causing all kinds of petty drama at school and her teacher was losing patience. So, after a couple conferences and a real "Come to Jesus" meeting, we think we've got her to calm down a bit. I feel as though her behavior was her way of telling me that she wasn't getting enough attention (positive attention) and so she was going to make me pay attention to her. Things have been so much better since. I still have to bring her down here and there, but that could just be her tween emotions getting the best of her. And speaking of teachers... we found out this week that her teacher is out on sick leave "until further notice." So they had to bring in another subsitute. This will be her 7th teacher in fifth grade. GRR! No wonder she's acting like a looney toon. She gets used to a teacher and then they leave and she has to learn all over again and adjustment like that is difficult. Now I sound like a total butthead when I say all this because it isn't the teacher's fault she got sick. And I wish her the best because she was a super nice lady. All I'm saying is this has been year to remember. Only 20 more school days left. Whoo Hoo!! I'll be so happy to just sleep in and go hang out at the pool all day. Allison? Oh my goodness. Well, she's about to turn 9. And I'm pretty sure the body snatchers have come for her. Where this was the child who never gave me any greef over anything... she's starting to throw around this little tude and it is so not cool. BUT... her grades this year have been awesome. She always gets to best reports from her teacher. She's been running track this spring. And well, it's been a bit uneventful. Literally. They go to practice twice a week. And they've had one true meet. They had a "just for fun" meet with just their team running against each other and she did really well. But at the true meet... well, the lack of experience was apparent with her and most of the kids on her team. The teams we were up against were well trained and had their junk together. I think she ended up placing 17th out of 24 runners in her event. At least it wasn't last, right? But I think she's decided to do soccer next time. The track and field just wasn't all that involved. And I think she is just bored with it. William? OOOHHH William! This child has kept us super busy over the past few months. He's doing soccer as well. And he's been not too excited about doing "the soccer." I'd love to say that he's been the star player and tries super hard and gets into the game more than the other kids. But no... he likes to pick the grass or dig in the dirt. During the game. OR he likes to just walk around and make monster noises at kids - and they eventually get sick of it and push him away and then he gets all upset and total meltdowns gallore! I'm just glad my good friend "lady on the corner" is his coach and has patience with him. Now, she might very well go home and fuss about it, but I don't think so. Now... the other moms... well who knows about them. It's whatever. I'm never there for his practices anyway because his overlap Allison's and I unfortunately can't be in two places at once. So, between me, Billy, and "lady on the corner" we usually get everyone to practice on time. And... the other day I went and signed William up for pre-school. I didn't really cry, but my stomach was in knots the whole time. He's going to hopefully go to the morning sessions next fall. It almost seems unreal. What am I going to do with my mornings? Maybe go to the gym. LOL!! Oh and I guess Williams' biggest news is his little accident he had on Billy's birthday. The child was leaning over the recliner trying to look out the window and yell at his friends who were playing across the street. I'm on my way down the stairs and I hear what sounded like a baseball bat smacking a ball. The sound was actually William's head slamming against a wooden baby doll crib (one my dad made for my girls years ago) and he bascially split his head open. Billy just happened to be home because they gave him the day for his birthday. So we both run to him and as Billy picks him up, William is holding his forehead with his hands and blood is just gushing... running down his hands and between his fingers. I've never seen so much blood. Billy held a towel to it while I ran around gathering up cell phones, car keys, shoes and more towels. It was awful. We get to the ER and sure enough... he had 5 stitches put in there. He was a trooper though. Of course he cried and I know it hurt, but he was so proud of his ginormous booboo. He still talks about it. He's got a pretty hot pink scar now - right in the center of his forehead. Billy? Well there is just so much to share here... I may just have to list it all. * A while back someone in the Batallion Headquarters got whiff of their unit "the D word" to Africa. What? Really? eah, that is weird and not so good. However, that was never heard of again... so it could have just been talk. However, one of neighbor friends whose husband just got back from Afghan was told they are on some sort of stand by to go to Africa too. ugh. I hate that for her so very much. * Billy was told by his Commander that he was going to start working in the Headquarters office in the gas chamber. I find this very hilarious. That I get to tell people my husband runs the gas chamber. Of course, this is just the room that they test the gas masks. It isn't like what you think in terms of torture or mass killings. It's just to test equipment. However, this was like 3 weeks ago. And they told him that the First Sgt had to give the order to his platoon sgt in order for the move to happen. Billy's been in classes for three weeks now and no one has told him anything. So, who knows. * And see now, he's taking these other classes for some mission that his unit has been asked to do. Without giving too much away on a public website... he's going to be doing some senstivie things involving the traveling of other soldiers. So, they have him taking these classes that are only supposed to be for Sgts (E7's and above). He's only a PFC (E3). They said they would only make exceptions for Specialists (E4) who are up for promotion to be Sgt. So, for him to take this class is crazy. He was sitting in a classroom next to Captains and Lieutenants. Nuts, right? But this all goes back to this mission they are doing. Basically they are taking the place of the civillians who do this job there on post. This job is a 24/7, no holidays or weekends off, kinda bullcrap job. They are working on a schedule for the soldiers doing this job and it will be 12 hours on and 12 hours off. 6am to 6pm. 6pm to 6am. So I'm getting very nervous that he's not going to get this gas chamber job, and end up working the most crazy hours ever for who knows how long. One good thing about it, is Billy thinks because of the nature of this mission, it means they won't be able to "the D word." So, we'll see. He's also heard that because he is taking this class, he might get put in the office of this new mission thing. See, not everyone is taking this class. Only a very few were picked for the class. I honestly do not know what to think. * Oh and Billy bought me new living room furniture. YAY! We haven't had new furniture since 1998. I'm sooooo in love with it. It's a chocolate brown pleather material. (not real leather) And we have a couch, loveseat and recliner. And a new entertainment center. What about my old couch, you ask?? Well, I just moved it to the other living room. For some reason, I just can not let that thing go. But I am having a yardsale Saturday, so maybe I can get rid of it. We'll see. I know there is so much more I need to share. I can't really think of any of it right now. I don't know when I'll blog again. Hopefully not two months from now.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A little bit of a sunburn

Ok... so Friday Billy came home early after getting his Driving Certificate and went to sleep. So William and I took a loaf of bread and some grapes across to the street to the Lady on the Corner's house and had a little picnic with her kids. Then it was just such a nice day, we ended up staying outside to "get a little sun on our faces." As we sat there, a few more friends trickled in and after getting the older kids home from school, we had a whole party of people. So we decided to grill out (a very impromtu event). The kids were just playing in the sand (by the way, have I told you that we don't have dirt - we only have sand?) and playing in the water while the parents sat there talking. Even my husband came over and sat with us. It ended up being Billy and myself, Lady on the Corner and her husband who is an infantry guy, and the Lady with a Fun Name and her husband who is a medic. Lady with a Fun Name lives just a couple doors down from the Lady on the Corner and just like us, they are in their 30's and brand new to the Army. She's been here since around December but is just now coming around to where she'll talk to us. I think this move was hard on her. And really, we get it. Moving from a civilian life to a military life is nuts!! But... I'm getting sidetracked. So, yeah... we had a nice time just sitting on the back porch. Enjoying each other's company. We didn't go home until well after midnight. Usually, we would be in bed and sound asleep by then. It was just super refreshing to have some folks to hang out with and feel like we belong somewhere. I know that sounds silly. But Billy and I have never had any couples that we can just hang out with. It's like either I have friends or he has friends - but we've never all hung out together. It was just a nice day.

And I had another "I gotta have a yardsale" moment this morning. I got in the pets' room and saw a couple boxes of things that I knew we could do without. So, the more I think about it... the more I think I'm just going to have one. I'm going to get a table set up in the garage and just start hauling stuff out there. If I have enough stuff, I'll do it... If I don't, I'll just take it to a goodwill or thrift store somewhere. Only problem is that the closest Goodwill is like 45 minutes away. How is that even possible??? But I'd really like to have a yardsale so we can have a little extra money for our trip home.