Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just a Small Setback

I was thinking about getting out of bed this morning when I heard a text message come through on my phone.  It was from Lt. Lee asking where I lived and if I would be able to pick Mike up from the airport.  To cut to the chase, Mike didn't pass his test this morning.  All these thoughts were running through my mind:  What happened?  How did this happen?  What are we going to do now?  I didn't get to talk to Mike for another 8 torturous hours.  The only positive I could carry with me were Lt. Lee's words:  "he felt he wanted to try again."  Mike didn't want to quit now, he wanted to keep going in this journey.  The journey may just end up taking a little longer than we had originally planned.

I have come to realized we aren't being punished by God, we are just getting things done in God's time, not ours.  I have been reading the Bible chronologically.  My plan is to be done by the end of the year.  Right now I'm in Job.  Job went through a lot of suffering and this suffering wasn't in response to anything he had done.  While our suffering isn't anything near what Job dealt with, we too will be like Job and persevere and remain faithful to God and his plan for us.

I finally got to talk to Mike.  He is coming to Little Rock tonight and can hopefully return to me tomorrow. I can't wait to see him and smother him with hugs, kisses, and the knowledge that I am so proud of him.  Our military journey won't be quick or easy, but he let me know that he wants his commission and when he gets home, he's going to look into all of his options.  Through prayer and patience (which by the way, is my biggest fault), we will get to where God wants us to be.  I truly believe this wasn't the right place or right time.  I think is was just preparation for what is in store for us.  God knows where we are headed and I choose to follow Him to get there.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Week 1 of OCS

Mike has been at Fort McClellan for a week now.  Only seven more to go.  I just pray that God gives him the strength to make it through.  On Wednesday I wrote about some discouraging letters I had received from Mike.  I didn't get anything yesterday, but when I ventured out to the mailbox around noon through snow and ice today there was another letter waiting for me.  This one was even worse than the first two I have received.  I have never heard/seen Mike so beat down before.  And here I am several hundred miles away, powerless to do anything to help him except send letters that take days to arrive.  The letter I got today was written on Monday, and he was seriously contemplating leaving and coming back home.  I do believed that God intervened, though.  He talked to his TAC (training officer) about how he was feeling.  This guy is from Arkansas, but I don't really think he knew what to do so he spoke to another officer from Arkansas, Lt. Lee.  This man is awesome.  He took time out of his schedule to get with Mike and really talk to him.  I don't know what exactly was said, but Mike agreed to wait until the next day to make a decision.

That is all the information I received in my letter.  That left me with a horrible feeling in my stomach and my heart.  I knew I needed to do something, but what?  Then, I remember Lt. Lee had given me his card with his contact information on it before they all left for Alabama and told me I could contact him at any time if I needed anything.  To make a long story short,  I ended up texting him see if he knew anything about how Mike was doing.  He got back to me very quickly and said that Mike came back the next day and told him he was going to try to make it through.  Lt. Lee was very encouraging and told Mike that the worst part would be over soon.  He also told Mike to let him know if he had any more problems.   Lt. Lee told me that he really wants Mike to make it through because he will be a great officer.  With each text I got, I loved that man more and more.  He was there looking out for Mike in my absence.  He also told me he would let Mike know that I had asked about him!!!  Well, I thought that was the end of the conversation.

Just a few minutes ago, I got another text telling me that Mike had failed his land navigation test by one today, but that he would get to retake it in the morning.  He also told me he would keep me posted.  Being the concerned and somewhat uniformed wife, I asked what would happen if Mike didn't pass tomorrow.  His reply, "  He'll pass.  They had a study session tonight."  I felt encouraged by his positive attitude and the fact that he took his own time to let me know about Mike.  God truly does step in and put people in our lives for a reason.  I know Lt. Lee was brought into our life to be positive and encouraging to Mike and me!

Please pray for Mike that he pass his test tomorrow!

Ice/Snow Day

Well, we missed another day of school today.  This is day #5 for Springdale.  We did have 5 emergency days built in our calendar, so it really hasn't changed the end of school.  I was beginning to wonder if we were going to get any snow because this is what is looked like outside when I got up this morning.  ICE!

This is the side of the building on our balcony.

Then, I looked out around 11:00 this morning and finally saw some snow.

As you can see, snow was coming down pretty good.

I decided to go get some pictures around noon or so.  This is what I saw.

Here are the latest pictures.  I went out and took them around 5:00.  This is after several more hours of snow.

I just heard the weatherman say that we still have several more hours of snow coming.  Who knows what it is going to look like.  I'll keep you posted.

Feel free to send me some of your winter weather pictures.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Praying for My Guy!

I finally got my first two letters from Mike in the mail today.  I was so relieved when I saw the envelopes in the mailbox today.  But when I opened them and read the little index cards inside, my heart sank.  He is miserable.  I can't imagine being treated like men in OCS are being treated.  True, they are supposed to be getting tough.  True, this is supposedly the hardest OCS in the county.  But, I really just want to say, "STOP TREATING MY HUSBAND LIKE THAT!  RIGHT NOW!!!"  Not that anyone will listen, but it feels better to just get it out.  You may be wondering about what is so bad.  They are getting smoked, a lot.  What does that mean?  That is military talk for doing lots and lots of push-ups, sit-ups, etc...  They have also had their barracks torn up and their lockers dumped out.  They are getting very little sleep and hearing a lot of yelling.  I think that is the worst part for Mike.  It brings back some not-so-happy memories from his childhood.  I am praying that God will give him the strength and courage to continue on and not be beat down.  I know Mike wants to do this so that he can provide for our family.  I also found out today that one of the guys from Arkansas was injured and sent home today.  I pray that God will protect my Mike from injury, as well.  But, I know in my heart that His Will will be done!  Thanks to everyone who is sending prayers and good thoughts Mike's way!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Heroes

This is the group of candidates going to OCS from Arkansas. This picture was taken at the Houston airport during their layover. I am so proud of them all (especially Mike, he is on the far right in the back row).  These are all some really great people.  I got to meet them all (and their families) yesterday when we got to go have lunch together.  It was a great meal and time of fellowship.  I also sure P.F. Chang's loved all 18 people that invaded their restaurant.  We even ran into Mike's aunt and she was able to join us for lunch, which was nice because we haven't seen her in several months.  These next 8 weeks will really challenge all of these individuals.  I wish them the best of luck and will keep them in my prayers.

Heart Broken

Well, I did it.  Tonight, I told my wonderful husband good-bye.  That was a little overly dramatic, but it's how I feel inside.  I didn't tell him good-bye for good, just for the next 58 days.  My heart shattered when I realized I won't see him in the flesh or touch him again for 8 weeks.  I also realized that we will have very sporadic phone contact (i.e. I may get to talk to him 3 times).  In the four year we have known each other, we haven't gone more than 24 hours without talking to each other.  We will be communicating the old-fashioned way, by letter.  I have this vision in my head that it will be all romantic and heart-felt letters written to each other on a daily basis.  But then reality sets in.  This is the military, people.  Their goal is to toughen these soldiers up by making them work 20 hours a day and survive on minimal sleep.  They want to test the ability of the officer candidates to make decision in stressful situations.  That's all fine and good, but what about me and all the other family members left behind?  What about our mental state after being deprived of the one thing that gets us through the day?  Our loved one?  I will be lucky to get a couple notes a week telling me how things are going.  I know I will survive these next 58 days and be a stronger person for it.  Our loving God will help me get through this time by helping me remember Mike and all the great times we have already shared and all the great times that are yet to come.  I know Mike will survive, too.  He is a strong man on the inside and out.  He is a natural leader and will get through this training with flying colors, if that is what God has planned for him.  I am very proud of Mike and the sacrifice he is making to better himself and provide for our family!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Traveling with Sadie

Well, tomorrow after school Sadie and I will again load up the car and head to Central Arkansas.  It is Mike's last weekend in Arkansas and he has it off.  But, the adventure really always begins in the car on the trip down.  I tried to be a good cat mother and bought Sadie a bag to ride back and forth in.  It even has a strap to put the seatbelt through to hold it secure.  Well, Sadie doesn't really like riding in the bag.  She cries and cries and cries.  She will eventually fall asleep, but I don't usually make it that far.  It pains me to hear her so upset.  So, I started unzipping one end of her bag to let her poke her head out or I can slide my hand in and give her a pet.

 Then, I started letting her get further and further and further out of her bag.  She progressed to laying in the seat in front of her bag.

That didn't suit her very long, either.  Now, she just roams around the car and lays down where and on top of anything she wants.  I'm such a softy. ;)

P.S.  Sorry for the quality of the pictures.  They were taken on my phone as I was driving down the interstate.  Shh...don't tell!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just a Few Thinks on My Mind

1.  I am loving that I get to talk to Mike every night right now.  I know exactly what's going on with him and he knows exactly what is going on with me.  It is comforting.  I am also excited that he gets the whole upcoming weekend off.  We are going to celebrate his birthday since he will be in Alabama.  I'm baking a cake for him, it's so yummy too.  It's a turtle cake with a caramel layer in the middle.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about it, but it's also making my booty expand just thinking about all those calories.  More about that in a minute!  On Saturday, we are going to go see Avatar in IMAX 3D.  I sure hope it's good.  It didn't really interest me, but I know Mike really wants to see it.  Then, we are going to eat at Capeo's in North Little Rock.  It is Mike's all time favorite Italian restaurant, and we have tried a lot of Italian restaurants.

2.  I just talked to my personal trainer on the phone.  My first session is going to be next Monday afternoon.  We are going to do assessments (weight, body fat, etc..) :(  Then, we are going to set goals.  I'm excited and scared at the same time.  I know this will be a new way to help myself get healthier.  I need someone telling me what I should be doing.  Sore muscles, her I come!!!

3.  I am loving my daily Bible Readings. I am reading it chronologically with some other people through Facebook.  Getting the historical perspective is amazing.  The stories are so beautiful and reassuring at the same time.  I guess in my mind I thought that people are becoming more sinful than they have ever been, but that isn't necessarily true.  There has always been a lot of sin, but there has also been some amazing people who have overcome their sin and lived for God.  I am inspired to do the same in my life.  I am also excited to continue my journey through the Bible in this way that is new to me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Mike was able to come home last night for what I thought would be dinner only.   The first surprise was that he got here early, around 3:45.  Woo Hoo!!  Then it turned out he got to spend the night.  Well, sorta!  He had to get up at 3:30 and head back for drill weekend.  But, that's ok, I'm just so thankful we had the time together we did.  He seemed to be in much improved spirits compared to earlier in the week.  Praise the Lord that Mike was given peace for the situation at hand.  We were able to hang out, watch some TV, gather more supplies he will need in the coming weeks/months, and spend time talking face to face.  I am satisfied that he isn't being tortured or mistreated too badly.  Here are some pictures I took as soon as he got home.'s one of the two of us.

Can you tell we were happy to see each other?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Road Trip

I leaving today for a road trip.  Well, it's not really much of a road trip, but 2 1/2 hours down the road feels more like a road trip since I'm doing it by myself.  Well, not really by myself.  I'll have our cat Sadie.  I'm sure she can protect me. ;)  Since we have no school again today (Man, next week is gonna kill me having to work all five days and all!),  I am going to head to central Arkansas this morning.  I am going to go have lunch with my mom at her school and see all the people I used to work with there.  I miss them.  I worked there for five years and have known some of them since I was a kid.  I went to school there, too.  Then, I told mom I would go grocery shopping for her this afternoon.  I though I would be nice since she has had to work harder than me this week.  Not that that was too difficult to do since I haven't worked at all.  Then, Mike is coming home (our house there) for dinner!  Yay!  I'm so excited to see him.  I have really missed him just being around.  Just the opportunity to spend a few hours together will make things seem like old times.  I will will be able to pretend that things didn't change.  I don't regret the decision we made for him to go back in the military, but that doesn't mean that it's always easy to accept that decision.  This is the third day he has been in charge of their little group at Camp Robinson.  He doesn't take that responsibility lightly, either.  When we are talking on the phone at night, he is usually writing out the schedule for the next day.  I know he is a good leader and takes every assignment they give him seriously.  But, tonight he get to take the evening off and just be Mike, not soldier Mike.  I can't wait.  I hope all of you have a fabulous weekend!  I know I will!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do I have a job?

Ok, so I have another day off of work/school due to winter weather.  Normally, I would be ok with that, but I have almost had three weeks in a row off.  We haven't been back since Christmas vacation.  I also have something else important coming up.  I have a date with my husband tomorrow night.  This is the first week of his training to become an officer in the army.  I'm in Fayetteville, thinking I have to work.  If I had known different, I would have just stayed in Greenbrier where I could have seen him most evenings.  But, since I can't change that now, I am looking forward to seeing him tomorrow night for dinner.  And I do really need to see him.  I need to see that he is doing ok.  I know he's a grown man, but I'm a worrier.  I have been able to talk to him every night.  He's pretty much free at night.  But, talking isn't the same as seeing him in flesh so that I can inspect that he is not being harmed by the people I am pretty sure spend their whole day yelling to make them "tough."  As you can tell I don't know a whole lot about the military or the tactics they use to train people.  I do know I couldn't make it.  I'm wimpy and get my feelings hurt way too easily for that.  But, I can hear the ups and downs in Mike's voice.  I know he can do this because he can do anything he puts his mind to.  Yesterday, he seemed to be better than other days.  I guess he's getting into a routine and bonding with the guys he's with, but I think we both need to see each other tomorrow.  So, I pray that the weather will cooperate and I can make it off the "hill" tomorrow.  Please keep Mike in your prayers that God will give him the strength to endure everything that is thrown his way over the next couple months.

Mike being sworn in the Army back in October.

Mike in the barracks last night.

Another pic of Mike just because I love him!

Monday, January 4, 2010

We Made It Through....And What's Ahead

I wasn't sure how this day would go, but all in all, I made it through.  I told Mike good-bye this morning.  God was watching out for me, though.  He gave us a few extra hours together by sending some winter weather our way.  We made the trip back to Greenbrier from Memphis yesterday after freezing our booties off at the Liberty Bowl.    I was supposed to head back to Fayetteville and get reading for our in-service today.  But, I got caught behind a wreck so to kill time I checked out Facebook and to my surprise saw a post from my school saying that the in-service was cancelled :)  I will never listen to anyone that says Facebook is a waste of time ;)  I turned around and went back to spend one more night with Mike.

He left this morning for Camp Robinson and I left for Fayetteville.  We both made it safe and sound.  We might be a little sad, but I did get to talk to him for about an hour tonight.  He said today wasn't too bad.  They did lots of physical training and spent the rest of the day in orientation.  I might get to see him on Sunday when his group runs the Big Dam Bridge!

I have the next few months mostly by myself, but I plan to keep myself busy.  Here are some goals I have set for myself:
1.  Exercise, Exercise, Exercise.  I have signed up for a personal trainer through the University to keep myself motivated.
2.  Keep caught up on work for my classes.  I have no excuse to not be ahead at all times.
3.  Read.  I got some new books for Christmas that I want to read and I want to finish reading the Twilight series.  I never made the time to do it before, but I will now.
4.  Read the Bible daily!  My friend Jenny (Thanks) got a group of people on Facebook (again Facebook can't be called bad) reading through the Bible in a year.  I'm caught up so far. :)
5.  Be the best teacher for my students that I can be!

I know there are more things I want to get done, but I think I'll start with these.  I hope everyone has a blessed 2010. Can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us.