The Ache Of Home Occupier-ship

I’ve got blisters on both my hands, but I’m not minding one bit because I just got finished raking my yard.  Ahhh…the sweet ache of home occupier-ship.  DH and I got an invite for supper from another couple he went to training with tonight too.  I think me, this house, and adult socializing are in for a beautiful relationship.

Shopping Like It’s My Job

DH and I went shopping today for furniture.  We’re so sick of sitting on folding lawn chairs, and with  my family coming for the holidays, we desperately need somewhere for these people to sit.  Our one bedroom apartment’s furniture just wasn’t cutting it!  We took advantage of Ashley’s after-Thanksgiving sales and got some great living room and dining room pieces.

It’s comfy but doesn’t swallow you up.  It’s a little smaller–perfect for our living room and a pale shade of green.

 

 

The couch is going to match the tv table so well.  It’s got just a little slate on the front that’s got a greenish hue.  So cute!  We got an end table to match but I couldn’t find a picture of it to show you.

 

 

And finally our dining room table and chairs.  This was DH’s find, and it really grew on me.  I love the wood.  It’s so sturdy, and the two-tone wood makes it so gorgeous.

I can’t wait to get it all delivered and in my house.  I have to wait two weeks!  Ugh.  It gets delivered the day after my washer and dryer.  DH said I love spending all this money, but I have nothing to show for it.  Ha…he’s got a point.  But this is what we saved for.  So excited!!

I came home and got into curtain mode.  This house has a ton of windows!  Love the light, but geeze, I’m going to be hanging drapes for months.  DH’s man pit is getting our old apartment curtains, but I need to line them for him.  They’re a canvas material with white, red, and blue stripes.  Very manly.  And I have a set of pale green curtains with a bamboo pattern from college that I think I can alter for the guest bedroom.  I never cared for them, but they’re fairly inoffesive and will save me a few pennies in the long run.  My mom is bringing me my sewing machine when she comes to visit, so it’ll have to wait a few weeks.  My grammy is getting me curtains for the living and dining room for Christmas.  What’s that…like half the house done?  Is there any way mini blinds could be considered attractive window coverings?

Job Hunting

I’ve been job hunting since about a month before DH’s training finished. I’ve applied to a handful of jobs that I would actually enjoy doing, and for the most part, are in my acceptable pay range. How long do I wait though, until I start applying for any job just to be employed? I’m sort of at that point. I want a job. I want to get a paycheck again and go somewhere that’s not my house and work with other people. I want to pack my lunch and have that big sigh of relief when I finally make it home at night. But I’ve worked so hard for this degree. I want to do all those things AND use my awesome brain power. Oh, and I’d really like to do so as close to my house as possible because I hate driving.

On the other hand, I have tons of house things that I could keep myself busy with for at least another month until after Christmas. I could stay picky for a little while longer, unpack and decorate, enjoy the time with my family during the holidays, and then get desperate. Of course my fingers would be crossed the whole time hoping that I wouldn’t have to get desperate because an awesome job would come along.

But I would ideally like to have a job and a routine set before DH deploys. I think it would be less disruptive to me if I could keep a system once he’s gone. No job means no therapy or volunteering because I don’t know my availability. It also means my grandiose decorating ideas have to be put on hold because we don’t have the extra income.

Poop.

If Only It Was My Last Deployment

Before we left for the in-law visitation trip, we drove the opposite direction to see my brother come back from his second and final deployment.  YAY!  Super Rad is currently stateside, safe, relatively happy, and counting down the days until his is Army free.

Super Rad landed in the rain just like his first homecoming.  Unlike his first trip, he came home with a much lighter spirit.  This deployment wasn’t nearly as scary as the first because of the draw down.  I’m so glad since he’s getting out of the military in a few months.  Reintegration is tough enough with the military there to provide a routine and mental and medical support.  Being cut loose to get those things on his own would have been so hard.  He’s thinking about going back to college in the fall.  I hope I stay living kind of close so I can drive up and interrupt his partying studying occasionally.

He landed on a Tuesday and by that Saturday, a large chunk of his combat pay had been spent on a new black truck.  I should have given him the bank number for the decorate-my-house charity fund if he needed to spend money that badly.  I guess he’d been dreaming about this truck his whole deployment, so I don’t really blame him.  Being sans wife and kid freed up a lot of cash as well.  Lucky duck.  I can’t wait to see it next month!

His homecoming was bittersweet.  I’m so relieved to have my bubby home safe.  It’s a horrible feeling to live phone call to phone call.  Super Rad and I are pretty close, so I’ve missed his company, witty remarks, and casual smile so much.  I want him to visit me all the time!!  Super Rad’s homecoming was shadowed for me though.  DH is leaving so soon.  I’m angry at the people whose fear is ending when mine is not.  I know it’s automatic, but the war kind of ends when your soldier comes home.  You don’t watch the news as carefully.  You quit subscribing to the newspaper.  You don’t hurdle dining room chairs in your path to get to the phone when it rings.  I’m not saying you don’t care or quit paying attention entirely, but it does become less immediate.  I guess I’m just grumpy that I can’t do that yet.  My fear is growing now that Super Rad is back, and I didn’t even know that was possible.  It chokes the life out of everything already.  And then I was angry at myself for letting these worries interfere with celebrating Super Rad’s homecoming.

Stupid deployments.  They ruin everything even when they’re not around.

New Home

I’m sitting here waiting for the fridge repair guy to show up at my MIL’s, so I figured I had time to finish some of those posts that I had waiting on me.

The PCS has been sucking my time away from me, but DH and I are busy but happy right now. The drive to our new duty station was uneventful. We walked in and got a house the very next day, and two days later our household goods arrived. We’ve been so lucky that the Army machine has cooperated so far!

I’m totally in love with out new home. It was built in the mid-1930s, so as a history nut I’m swooning over the old charm that our house has. DH…not so much. The hot and humid climate we’re in encourages bugs and mold even in the winter, both of which creep him out. I’ve been designated the official bug slaughterer. The closets are interesting at best, but the kitchen and bathrooms are new. We have a screened-in porch on the back with a little yard. It has hardwood floors everywhere with a gorgeous staircase. I’ll try and post pictures of the inside sometime. Right now I don’t know where my camera is, so it’ll have to wait. Maybe around the holidays some will sneak out. Granted I came from the tiniest one bedroom apartment and a bedroom in my parents’ house, but this house is perfect. I can’t wait to start hanging curtains and getting real non-college furniture to fill it up.

So far I’ve gotten my kitchen mostly put together. All my dishes have been washed and put away, although my counters aren’t even close to being useable yet. Our clothes did not make it out of boxes before we left to visit family. I think they’ve multiplied while in storage. Somehow DH and I made due with one decent-sized closet and one dresser in the apartment, but I don’t know how separate closets and the same dresser are going to work now. After making a suitcase work for so long, do I even need that many shirts? Most everything else is out of boxes but not necessarily put anywhere. We are missing two very vital pieces to our futon…the only main piece of furniture in our living room. You always lose something I guess.

Before we left for the family visit, I got the washer and dryer ordered. They only deliver to the post on certain days so I have to wait until the 17th to get them. Ugh. I got permission from the housing people to put in a fence for the dog that will be joining us at Christmas. I also put in a work order for the porch light that I yanked off the side of the house trying to change the light bulb. Oops.

I picked up a catalog for curtains…my grammy’s Christmas gift to me. I’ve been perusing it when I have the time. I’m thinking pale green for the living/dining room. I’m a freak for anything blue, so it may be the only non-blue room in the house. Before my family shows up for Christmas, I have to get some kind of furniture to eat and sit on downstairs and a guest bed upstairs. The fence has to go in and a doggie door installed on the porch. The mountain of clothes has to be put away too, but that’s just a personal goal.

I don’t think we realized how much it was feeling like home already until we left. We’re both missing our mostly empty house so much. DH is talking about heading back on Monday. He has to show up and report for duty, so our month of sleeping in, running errands, and working on the house has to come to an end. It went by so fast!

Reintegration–The Family Visit

I’m sitting here at my in-laws tonight.  DH is off with his best friend from high school.  I could not be happier.  It’s been about three weeks now since DH got home, and a lot has happened.  I have a few other posts in the works that I want to get out about PCSing and Super Rad coming home, but I’ll get to them another day.  In these three weeks, DH and I have spent close to zero time apart.  I think he ran to the PX once for a light bulb and I didn’t go, but that’s been about it.  For the most part, I’ve enjoyed our time.  I’ve been soaking up the cuddles like no body’s business.  We have done some major driving, which has given us ample time to talk.  The first few days felt awkward to have someone following me around everywhere I went, but it didn’t take too long to fall into the groove again.

But seriously, people, I need a break.  It’s three weeks.  I want some breathing room.  I want to curl up and read a book in silence–something that seems impossible since Call of Duty 2 came out.  I don’t want to be asked where I’m going every time I leave the room for more than ten minutes.  I want to occasionally go to bed when I’m too tired to see straight and not at a mutually agreeable bed time set by him.  And I’m so over the toothpaste left to dry on the side of the sink.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my hubby.  I’m so happy to have him back, and I’ll gladly battle the toothpaste every morning if it means I can see his smile over my bowl of cereal afterward.  But the no personal space isn’t natural, and I wish we could move past it to a more normal state.  Unfortunately, he’s deploying shortly.  We’re getting used to each other, working toward normal, and holding on way too tight all at the same time.  It’s mentally confusing.

Block leave is a mostly welcomed part of reintegration.  I’m loving the lazy days where we don’t have to set an alarm to get up.  We’ve been spending a lot of time at the gym guilt-free.  Block leave also means that we’ve got to visit the fam though.  Ohhhh…

I don’t blame him.  I’d want to see my family too since he’s going to be heading out soon.  Plus, even though we’re not going to be here for the holidays, it’s close enough.  I’m the problem.  Spending two weeks in my in-laws’ spare bedroom isn’t high on my fun meter.  I have a stomach condition that decided to go haywire two days before we got here too.  Ugh.  If I have to turn down one more fried pork chop from my mother-in-law I’m going to scream.  Nausea means no eating…no matter how good it looks.  Period.  And is it so hard to get a decent bath towel??

They are wonderfully nice people, but this isn’t my home.  It holds memories for DH, not me.  It’s a tortuous excercise that has to happen just like pre-deployment training.  Hugs must be given.  Meals must be had.  And military spouses have to nod and grit their teeth while well-meaning mother-in-laws hand out advice about keeping a home clean.  I have the refrain of her baby boy leaving stuck in my head.  Her baby boy is trained to shoot people for a living.  I think it’s time to let that go.  I do not want to compete with her.  I will not.  We will both grieve when he goes.  We will both worry terribly and wait for each phone call.  But our feeling are not the same, and I resent her comparing them or lumping them together as one.  DH has already left her.  He doesn’t live in her home.  I will notice his day-to-day absence so much more, but I don’t get to lament over my baby boy leaving.

I had one small victory today.  I politely listened while the MIL went on and on about how my father-in-law will only eat her “special” pie crust because he’s so picky while I was preparing quick peach turnovers for dessert tonight.  I nodded while I brushed each with a little milk.  I agreed with her as I took them from the oven to let them cool.  And I only inwardly smiled so big that my cheeks hurt when he couldn’t quit raving about my crust.  Thank you refrigerated Pillsbury pie dough!  You saved one daughter-in-law’s sanity tonight.  🙂