My Heaven

I am sure after last night's post you all will be very glad? relieved? thankful? to hear that I had a pretty good day. Pretty damn good.

First, thank you. Thank you all for the support through my rough moment. It's not the first time I've had a moment like that but I think it's the first time (maybe it wasn't, I'm not sure, my memory's shot, but either way...) I really blogged my raw feelings in the heat of the "moment" and instead of being terrified or overwhelmed you all were so supportive and uplifting, I am so very thankful for all the wonderful comments I get from you. Last night, it was like a weight crushing down on me, the weight of reality. And blogging, getting it out, was like physically letting it out, some of it. I also talked to some great friends to help pull through the rough patch. On the norm, I feel sad/angry feelings ebb and flow throughout the day, but then I have what I call my "moments" or "meltdowns" like last night and they are just overwhelming and I am always so thankful to have people close to me, if even through the interwebs, to pull me through. I know I am "entitled" to meltdowns and I know to expect them, but it's also nice to know there are people willing to pull me out. Anyway, this post is not about last night, it is about today, so I shall get on with it!

Today, well today was a fun day. All around, unadulterated fun. First, we went up to Castle in the Clouds in the Ossippee Mountains and went for a trail ride. My cousin and I rode horses through the mountains and enjoyed some great views while Gramma and Ari fed the ducks and waited, spending some good QT now that Gramma is feeling herself again. It was my cousin's first time on a horse "without someone leading!" and she did really well. It felt so good to be back in the saddle again, if only for a trail ride, and I am going to need to make a habit of it. Ya see, when I was 10 years old I started riding. And ride I did, I showed (hunter), I trailed, I went to horsecamps, I owned my own horse... the whole nine. But then I got older and interested more in hanging with friends and being a jerk... I mean a teenager... and it fell to the wayside. It's one passion of mine that I've always wanted to get back into but never been able to find the opportunity. I definitely need to hunt down that opportunity now because it is one thing in this life that makes me feel peaceful and some semblance of true happiness.

(Not my photo)

After that we headed up to Attitash Mountain for more fun! We went with intentions of riding the Mountain Coaster but it was not built yet (boo... the huge billboards failed to disclose that... jerks!) so instead we rode the things they did have. The Alpine Slide, which is a really sweet slide that you ride a little sled on down the side of the mountain. It is sooo sick. You take a ski lift to get to the top then you get on your little sled and you control the speed, and if you're not careful, your sled could leave the slide or flip! It's almost like bobsledding but on a dry slide. SO FUN. I did it 4 times... I'm not a child or anything... My cousin also somehow talked me into going on the water slides with her. I did each one once. While they were fun, the heat of the south has definitely creeped its way into my veins and I was freezing in the 80ish degree weather with the mountain breeze. Brr! We spent about 3 fun filled hours there and then headed home, where I am now blogging and feeling the exhaustion of having gotten out of the house.

(Not my pic)

I did get to do some quality thinking today, too. Ski lifts are so peaceful and the view so intense you can't help but let your mind wander. Two of the times I went on the slide, I went alone (cousin was water sliding and I was not up for any more of that) so I had the ride in silence. While I rode, I thought about Heaven. I mean, hello, I'm riding up the side of a mountain... UP UP UP... Heaven kind of just pops into mind, ya know?

Anyway, yeah, I thought about Heaven. Ya see, I always thought Heaven would be different for each person. In my mind, Heaven is customized to each person's loves and experiences and what nots. Makes sense, right? Why would my Heaven be the same as yours? So, I started thinking about what I'd want my Heaven to be like. I didn't get very far, actually, I didn't get passed the arrival. But, the arrival? Well, I've got it down pat.

(Definitely not my pic)

Here's what I wouldn't mind seeing (Hey God, are you paying attention?). I would really like to ride up to Heaven on a ski lift. I think it'd be the perfect way to get there. No riding on angel's wings, no flying in a jet, I think a ski lift would do the trick. Nice and calm, sitting down watching the world get lower and lower. I would prefer that my ski lift didn't make the scary clanking noises that they tend to do, however. But if it did, it'd be ok because I would know that I couldn't fall out. Oh and my ears wouldn't pop from the pressure either, they'd be normal and ok, because it'd be Heaven's ski lift and pressure wouldn't be a problem at that point. Ok, so then I riiiiiide the lift to Heaven and I'm there. I can't even tell you what it looks like, like I said, I haven't gotten that far. But I know when I get off the lift, I'm not scared of falling, I step off and the lift vanishes or something so I don't even have to keep moving like you normally do. And before me will sit a Coachmen USA or Coachmen America, whatever it's called, bus. It will sit there and I will look at the bus. I will look at it and the door will open. And then I'll see the boots. And the boots will descend down the stairs. And my baby will walk off the bus and welcome me into Heaven. He will hold me in his arms and even though we are both but spirits I will feel his warmth once again. Then we will get onto the bus and head into Heaven to meet God and Jesus and do all of our other Heavenly things, ya know get me all checked in and squared away and what not...

Yeah, that's definitely how I see it goin' down... That's my Heaven.

I Want My Husband.

I just want you here. Now. There is nothing more in the world that I want. Anything material in this life I will give up if you just come back. This reality sucks and is stupid and I hate it. I want you, Jonathan. So quit fucking around and come out now.

Of course... no matter how much I want, pray, beg, plead... you won't. There's no coming back.
I hate this. I hate doing it on my own. It's not a matter of whether or not I can, it's a matter of the fact that I just do not want to.

Each day feels a little emptier, and I swear it's getting harder. Each day is a reminder that I don't know how long it will be until I see you again. You're not coming home. I close my eyes and I see us reuniting, you getting off a bus, meeting your daughter. I close my eyes and I can almost taste it. We were so close. I want it. I do not want this you not here thing. It's not what I agreed to. I agreed to a long, crazy life with you. I agreed to 20 plus years in the Corps. I agreed to short seperations. I agreed to moving, traveling, loving, fighting, eating, sleeping, not sleeping, raising child(ren). I agreed to unpredictability, chaos, peace, joy, entertaining, cuddling, sleepless nights waiting, and even being pregnant again (I would have done it). I agreed to homecomings and working through issues, I agreed to being there no matter what.

I did not agree to this!

I want to talk to you. Can't I just hear your voice, your real, raw, not recorded voice? Can't I just call you and get some answers? Can't we just have one conversation? I'm haunted by our last conversation, can't I have a redo? One more. Please. Even a letter? Can't I mail you a letter and just get something back? Just something back from you. Anything. Anything to know you're there. That you really didn't leave me.

The pain becomes unbearable when I think of how long it will be. I don't want this pain anymore. You need to come now, and make it better. Please. PLEASE. You made everything better, why not this? I know I say you're my strength. I go on for Ariana and I go on because I know you are there looking on me and reminding me to be strong. But goddammit I don't feel strong right now. I don't feel like you're there and I need it. I need you. I need you, Jonny.

I want you to call so I can tell you all the new things Ariana can do. I want you to call so I can tell you they can't find your computer (yes, your computer is missing. I don't know what they're doing and I don't think I'm going to get it back. All the pictures and videos you had on there that I didn't have... I push and push and it seems like I get no where. I pray that it turns up. If someone took it, I pray that they realize I need it. I need every single piece of you I can get). I want to tell you about our vacation. I want to tell you about everything that's been happening. So what if you can see it where you're at? I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT, share it, have an interaction, hear your reactions. I want to hear your laughter. I want you so badly.

They told me what you said before you got up there that day.
I was angry. I was so angry at first.
"I'll go up in the turret, just don't tell my wife."
You knew! You knew that if I knew I'd be mad, because you promised you wouldn't do anything you didn't have to, you promised you'd be as safe as possible, you promised that you would come home. Always the Marine, Jonny. Always going above and behind. I know you worked your ass off, but couldn't you have been selfish, just once?
Some people say those, especially the last, weren't your promises to make. I can see what they mean. It's not even my promise to make that I will return from the store or wake up in the morning. We never know when we're going to go. I try to remember that so I'm not as angry.
But when they told me, I was angry.

And then... I laughed. I was still on your mind. At first, it felt like you'd forgotten about us. Like we'd slipped your mind as you made the decision to get a little "unsafe" and get up there. But then I realized, you thought of me until the last minute. You wanted to protect me and not make me worry. But I laughed mostly because... you knew I would not be happy, boy did you know. You knew you would be in some hot water if and when (and eventually I would) I found out.

You didn't think I'd find out this way. I know in my heart you didn't think I'd find out this way.
I reread our deployment emails and we were so full of hope, of promise. You were so excited to be coming home, we would say "See you soon" and "Not that much longer" and you would make up songs about you coming home. We had over 3 months down. I had a batch of letters to send. I don't know where those letters went. People have helped me clean since then, they may have been tossed. Or I may have hid them, I know I personally didn't throw them away. I wish I knew where those letters, ready to go, "3 MONTHS DOWN!!!" went. We weren't even halfway there yet we were certain it wasn't going to be much longer, we were certain we'd get through and be seeing each other in the very near future. The future is so foreboding now. Scary and empty.

There is only one thing I can think of that I wouldn't give to have you come home. And that is Ariana. The one little piece of you you left with me. Thank God for that little girl. I don't know what I'd do without her. But short of our baby, there is nothing I wouldn't give to see you get off a bus.

Baby, where are you now? I need to feel you. I put this in writing as a plea to you... I need you.

Widow Quotes

I'm going to call this "Widow Quotes," but really, they can be quotes for anyone experiencing a loss, needing some inspiration, etc. etc. It's a boring day here, my mommy is still sick, I guess I was wrong about today being her day. She has gone into the doctor and I am praying they can make her and my dad all better. They are both so miserable right now and I just want them to be un-sick! So with this down time I have searched some quotes. Some I've found on friend's facebook pages, some I found on the interwebs... and of course any comments I have are in italics.

So without further ado, I give you,
Mrs. P's Widow Quotes:

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world which I find myself walking around in the daytime and falling into at night. I miss you like hell."
- Edna St. Vincent Millay, Letters (This is basically the first quote that I found that perfectly described how I feel, especially the difference between day and night time)

"All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee to me."
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet XLIII (I pray every night to see him in my dreams but have only gotten a couple... I hold onto those with clenched fists and beg for more)

"If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden"
- Claudia Ghandi

"To live in hearts we leave behind,
is not to die"
- Thomas Campbell (I will never let you die, my love)

"Your absense has gone through me
Like thread through a needle
Everything I do is stitched with its color"
- W. S. Merwin, Seperation (Every single thing is tinted with the knowing that you're gone...)

"If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remeber. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you."
- Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh (This quote is my strength on some days)

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
- Khalil Gibran

"He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Life is eternal and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight"
- Rossiter Worthington Raymond

"I know you are a woman of sorrowful spirit, yet be comforted, though your sorrows be great for your husband going out of this world, yet your pains shall be the less in bringing your child into this world; you shall be a joyful mother, though you be a sad widow; God hath many mercies in store for you; the prayer of a dying husband, for you, will not be lost."
- Christopher Love

"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er fraught heart and bids it break"
- William Shakespeare (Maybe a good quote for when people ask why/how I still blog... I need to get it out)

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey"
- Kenji Miyazawa

"Lost love is still love, Eddie. It just takes a different form, that's all. You can't hold their hand, you can't tousle their hair. But when those senses weaken, another one comes to life. Memory. Memory becomes your partner, you hold it, you dance with it. Life has to end, Eddie, Love doesn't."
- Marguerite, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

"In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing."
- Robert Ingersoll

"It is better to be the widow of a hero than the wife of a coward"
- Dolores Ibarruri

"While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil"
- John Taylor

"...But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."
- Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

"I love you more than any man can love any woman.
I love you with all my heart, mind, soul, and body"
- Jonathan Porto to his wife. I love you too baby, more than it seems possible, with everything, everything that I am.

Holey Bagoley

My Aunt says that a lot, it cracks me up.

Well, I'm up here in New Hampshire, enjoying some much needed get-back-to-the-roots time with family, and I've finally decided to actually write a real post and I'm not going to delete it this time, promise.

So we've been doing a lot of relaxing up here in the good ol' New England air. Lots of sleeping in for mommy too, always a plus. My family is finally starting to recover from the stomach bug we seemed to have caught. Well, everyone but my poor mommy, she has been so under the weather. I have my fingers crossed that tomorrow will be her day.

We did some good shopping earlier in the week. Spoiled the crap out of my daughter, of course. She got sooo many new outfits, some shades, a Sox hat... and mommy spoiled herself with a new Coach diaper bag and Shades and a Sox hat too! Ah, retail therapy!

The rest of the time we've been just hanging, visiting with family, and reeeelaxing. Oh and I took a ride on my uncle's goooorgeous hog. I am definitely feeling the need to get a two-wheeled vehicle now!!

Today, I met a BLOGGY FRIEND, the lovely Ashley from Kiwis and Cocktails. She is one of my oldest bloggy friends and it was cool to meet her and make her a real life friend (don't forget to find me on fb, Ashley!) We indulged in some wine and went to eat at the Yankee Smokehouse and enjoyed lots of conversation. She is just as fun in real life as in her blog, so if you haven't yet, go check her out!
I also realized what a poop blog friend I am. I am so sorry I am so crap at reading and commenting lately. I really need to do better. I always get such amazing comments and they each mean so much to me. There's one slight issue I have though, can you guys PLEASE make sure you can reply to your comments? No reply at blogger dot com sucks, I go to answer so many people but then I can't!! I also don't know this until I get on an actual computer because my iPhone doesn't show the actual email address just the "name" that sent it to me. So if you haven't yet, update your statuses so that I can email you back. I always want to converse and then am denied by the ways of the interwebs :( And I will try my hardest to read and comment more often, I promise. I really do love you guys even though I am a poop friend lately!!

Let's see what else, what else... on Saturday I think we're hitting up a ropes course in the afternoon. It is called "Monkey Trunks" here in New Hampshire and I'm so stoked, so that will be a fun update. I am also excited to spend some time with Jonny's brother Ben and his girlfriend Kristen.

As far as me and how I'm doing on the inside, well I'm hanging in there. I've had some difficult nights lately... as I learn new things it's new emotions all over. I am sooo thankful to widow friends I can call who can understand what I'm feeling even if they haven't gone through the exact same thing, they've gone through close enough and they all seem so judge free and accepting of the things I feel or have to say. I've never met a more superb group of ladies, so strong and just... inspirational. I guess I can kind of see how you guys tell me I'm "strong" and "inspirational" just by talking to fellow widows. Even though I still think you all are nuts ;-)

Picking Up

Picking up and being the bigger, better person.
As per usual.

Now to enjoy the rest of my vacation, remember my husband's advice the last time I got irritated with stupid girl drama, and move on.

World (East Coast) Travelers

I could use this time to vent about my rampant-running emotions these days, upcoming decisions, and my permanently "lost" state of mind, but ya know what? I don't feel like it.

So instead I would like to point out the fact that my daughter, in her 5 months and 3 days lifespan, has been on 14 planes. You read that right, FOURTEEN. While the majority of our travels have been for very, very somber reasons, it still blows me away what a seasoned traveler my little Princess is. Two to Delaware, 2 home from Delaware, 2 to Florida, 2 home from Florida, 2 to Florida again, 2 home again and this time 2 to Baltimore. On Saturday she will have another one as we're going to New England on a little mini vacation and then one more when we fly back to Baltimore. What a little jet setter! She travels so well, too, Thank God! The worst flights were the ones back from Florida the second time, she was soo worn out and screamed the majority of each flight, but besides those, she's usually a happy little traveler. I think she's got her own airport routine down.

And momma's getting an airport routine as well. I can navigate airport terminals in a stroller like I was born doing it. Today we got from one end of Charlotte to the other in 20 minutes flat! I've learned how to change diapers on the plane, feed in flight, pee with a baby in my lap in the tiny airplane bathrooms, and a multitude of other airport sauve tricks of the trade.

Being a "single mom" is not anything I ever asked for. Sure, I'd planned it in small(ish) doses as a Marine Wife and knew I'd be taking on the roll of both mom and dad at points, it's not anything I actually thought would be my permanent situation. However, the single parent journey is not staring at me so frighteningly, as I see I can hold down the fort, even while traveling. I think I make my babe very proud in knowing that he chose a good woman to raise his daughter if anything were to ever happen to him, someone who could step up and take on the challenge.

I remember when he was in Afghanistan, it was during our last call we ever got actually, after I'd been in North Carolina only a few days, doing the 'single parent' thing for the first time ever. I said to him, Babe this 'single parent' thing is really hard. He said to me something about not saying I was a 'single parent,' that I wouldn't be 'single parenting' for much longer. I told him I know I'm not, I'm just doing it alone right now and it feels that way, and it's hard but I can do it.

Thinking on that conversation crushes my heart, because I wasn't supposed to be a 'single parent' for much longer, my partner in parenting, life, love, all things, was supposed to be home soon. But now, with the cards our family has been dealt, I am left a single mother. I look back on the conversation and at that time. I was terrified to go to NC by myself with a tiny babe, I had no idea what I would do if... (insert me sick, her sick, both of us sick, she won't eat, she won't poop, etc. etc.) and I know I have come a long way, as a parent, from then. I wish upon wish every single day that I didn't have to, but being this is my only choice I am going to do the very best that I can, and seeing how far I have come as a mom, it's not as scary as it once was. Here's to hoping this mind set stays and I can continue down the journey of single parenting with an optimistic eye...

PS Please excuse my run-ons and excessive comma use in this post, it's late, I've been traveling all day, and I'm exhausted. Ok, disclaimer over.

A Widow's View on Not Being Too Proud

I woke up this morning and I was super excited to go to my massage that my lovely blog-turned-real-life friend, Amber, got me a gift card for. After this wonderful week (sarcasm) I felt like I could totally use some relaxation in my life. My friend Caitlin was bringing her adorable little 5 month old (literally, her and Ari are 4 days apart, it's sooo cute) to watch the girls while I relaxed for an hour. She told me she'd been sick the night before though and I felt soo bad that she was still here. She is, however, an outstanding friend and told me she really wanted me to get it done. I wished she would have called and stayed home and rested however I was extremely thankful she was there when...
a migraine hit!

Urgh. Seriously? As I'm leaving to go get some much needed me/relax time, I was slammed with one of my complicated, super nasty, bed-all-day, barely able to function migraines. So Cait stuck around and took care of the boops while I slept off the numbness and pain all day. All day she stayed. (Um, Cait, if you're reading this, I can not express to you how thankful I am that you were there for me today.) My functioning levels when I get hit with these things are minimal at best and I am just so thankful and glad to have friends who can pull through when I need them, even when they aren't feeling good to begin with. So, thanks again mama, you're the best.

Through this whole journey, I have learned so much already. I have learned about other people, I have learned about life, and I have learned about myself. One thing I am learning now is how to accept help. I have always been a... uhh.. you could say "proud" person, stubborn is probably a better description. I don't like asking for help, I don't like taking it. I like to do everything, always, by myself. I've always been stubborn and thick-headed but I think this intense need to be "independent" came from my life as a Marine Wife and having to do things myself while he was gone, if I do things by myself always then I won't ever need help, ya know? Yeah, I always asked and received help from my mom, but that's my mom who's helped me my whole life, thank God for my momma! But when it came to friends, or even strangers, I would typically only accept help if I really, really needed. I've been let down in the past by asking for help and getting kind of screwed over and so I have learned the only way to get things done is by yourself. And sometimes, the stubbornness in me says that accepting help is a sign of weakness. But through this whole journey, I am learning that if people are going to offer it, and they really mean it when they offer, there is nothing wrong with accepting help. Someone to help watch your baby when you're sick, people to cook you meals because you can't function enough to even think about eating let alone cooking, people to just talk to, or just someone to have you over for dinner and/or drinks and provide company. Life doesn't have to be done all alone. If there are people willing to help, who find joy in helping (like myself, I love helping and doing things for others, why couldn't I just take it before, I don't know) then there is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting it. No, I'm not saying use people - take everything that comes your way and do nothing in return. However, if someone offers, it is ok to say yes, it is ok to eat someone else's food, it's ok to have someone watch your babe for you, it is ok, and it does not make you (me) less of a person or any weaker. And if I can not do them any favor in return, which I hope all my friends know that whatever they need I am here, I can be their friend, at the very least.

So to my milwife friends out there who are stubborn and indepent like me, I put this out there: if someone wants to help, don't be too proud, take some assistance every once in a while for Pete's sake!

And now, it is almost 2 (again) and I should probably catch some zzz's, I hoping baby gets a nice solid sleep tonight so mommy can as well because we've got a plane to catch in the morning!

They're Back

Advon came back last night. Jonny would have been advon. I should be sitting on my porch with him this very moment. Or doing other activities, but either way with him. But I'm not. I took it pretty hard. Luckily last night I had friends here with me to occupy me and keep me company. But this morning when everyone had gone home, I was left with myself, my thoughts, and that sinking feeling in my stomach. I could barely function. When the baby napped I just laid there. More and more reality. Reality, frankly, fucking blows. Excuse my language but there's no other description, and that doesn't even begin to touch on it. I see people's happy "He's homes!" and post-deployment pictures, and while I know I should feel happy for them, I just can't. I want my "He's home!" I want a happy picture of me and my two babies. I want my family whole. I want my heart whole. Want, want, want. Can't, can't, can't. So what do I do now? I thought that all day long... what the hell am I supposed to do? He is really, really not coming back. He is not getting off a bus. Period. Reality.

I guess I am just supposed to live on. And I make an effort to do that every day. This morning, that felt nearly impossible. Live on? Really? Without my babe? How? I went and had "coffee" (and by coffee I mean Naked juice and a delicious breakfast treat - no caffeine for this girl - but at Starbucks, so it counts) with a new friend. She was so easy to talk to and, although she is not a widster, seemed to really understand and sympathize. Not that I'm saying my other friends don't - they do - and I am so thankful for them - but it was a nice new face and a good time. I got out of the house and moved. I had such a hard time moving today but I did it, and for that I am thankful for her, for our coffee date, and for a fresh pair of ears to listen to the stories I feel like I tell all the time and people may be growing tired of (no, no one has said they're tired of them, but I know the same stories can get old for anyone). I came back to the house after feeling a bit renewed and one of my favorite people came over to hang. She had a new friend with her, as well, and it was great getting to tell stories again. I just love talking about him. Unfortunately our stories are limited and numbered due to the way too short time we had together, so getting to tell stories to new people is always pretty awesome. I made a sign for my friend's husband who will be coming home with Main Body. We always said Alana was my deployment wife, so therefore our husbands were required to take us on as second wives (nothing creepy, it's just a lil joke, people) so I made him a Welcome Home 2nd Hubs! sign. I felt good doing it, too, which is a bit surprising, considering. I also made Jonny a sign for yesterday. I didn't hang it up on the base, it's on my porch, semi-ruined from the amazing rain storm we had yesterday (loooved it!!) but it says "Jonny Porto You come home in the hearts of the guys. We love you and are so proud Stink/Poppa Bear. Love Your Girls, Mama Bear and Buttons. FOREVER AND EVER, BABE." I just couldn't not make him one.

Now I'm just sitting here on the porch with my friends citronella and nicotine. Although let me tell you citronella isn't really doing her job. These bugs out here are out of control. I wonder if they realize how much they are infringing on my smoke/blog/facebook/school stuff on the porch time. Little jerks. Last month, I could handle the knat-bugs and occasional misquitos but now, now there are these HUGE nasty beetles that think they own my porch. They fly into everything and make a huge thunk (or ting when they hit the citronella jar) - I even hear them smacking into the windows from inside the house. They even have the gall to frequently land on me - assholes. But I put up with them because I enjoy the out-of-doors and the smoke-ok environment. I totally get screened-in porches now.

Oh and if you're wondering, I got into my Master's Program. I'm pretty stoked about that. It's conditional acceptance pending them getting my transcripts, and now I've gotta do my essays and recommendation letters (yeah seems a little backwards to me too - your essay sucks we change our mind?) but those aren't problems I foresee.

And lastly, just for a little picker up after a semi-depressing post (the usual these days... gah) how about some photos? My princess will be a whole 5 months in a matter of hours - holy crap!
Jonny's sign

Aquarium? YAY!

Hangin with one of my besties, Emma

The beach is exhausting!

Mom of the year forgot my hat so she covered me in her dress (and 50 SPF)

and lastly...

Momma drinking wine the only proper way (if you're a true bad ass, that is)

Things I Miss

This probably won't be the only time I post something like this, but it'll be the first so...

Today I was just thinking about things I miss. I miss everything about my babe. I miss him more and more each day. People assume it gets easier, but I think that's to the contrary. Actually, talking to fellow widsters, we all feel the same, at least at a point - that it gets worse. Eventually, the guys come home, minus yours. Eventually, reality sinks in (even more) and loneliness hits... 90mph brick wall. The shitty part about reality is it's always there to continue to smack you in the face. Just when you think you're doing "ok," more stuff comes home, or the guys come home, or a song comes on the radio, or you want to tell him something... you get it.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was thinking of the things I miss. And as it is everything, I started constructing a list as different things...

To You:

I miss the way you dance. "Crazy arms" in the car, the "Shush girl, shut ya lips" dance (often in the car as well...), and the silly Porto dance. I always picked on you for that dance, but really I loved it, it was silly and made me laugh, even if I didn't want to be seen dancing with you in public! Just kidding, I loved dancing with you in public. In the house. Anywhere. We were always dancing and singing.

I miss you singing to me. I am thankful I have a few of the songs on the tape, but nothing is as good as the real thing. I miss you singing me to sleep, or over the phone, or over webcam, or just because. You were always singing. I miss how every love song seemed to remind you of me, and you would sing it to me like it were written specifically from you to me. I miss how you took songs like "Fall For You" by Secondhand Serenade, which seemed more about fighting and breaking up, and made it a love song. I remember when you told me that song reminded you of me, you said something like Not the breaking up part, just the falling in love with you over and over again part.

I miss singing to you. I have a horrible voice but you loved it. I still sing to you and so many songs speak to me and I sing them to you babe, but I miss you enjoying it. I miss you singing along, I miss the faces we'd make at the certain parts in the song.

I miss your laugh. I miss your contagious smile. I miss how silly and random you were, we were, together. I miss you getting mad at me because I laugh for hours over a joke that makes no sense to anyone but me. Or even if it did make sense, it was lame (we will, we will... ROCK YOU hahaha that still cracks me up - I'm literally laughing about it right now thinking about it - you were sooo irritated that I laughed about that so long, but I know inside you thought it was funny, too).

I miss your therapy. You know what I mean, when you tried to help everyone out with their problems (think Shannon's wedding). You were incredibly caring, and you didn't want to see anyone unhappy, least of all me. I miss you doing anything in your power to make me happy. Trying to solve any issue I had. I'll get back to this 'miss' later.

I miss your ass. The way you shook it, ha. I miss knowing which Marine you were in a crowd of camis just by the way you walked, the way you moved. I miss the way you move. The way you carried yourself. Confident but not cocky. Powerful yet soft.

I miss watching you talk to the baby. I miss you holding her, even though I never saw it. I miss how in love you were with that little girl. I miss my Poppa Bear. I miss the way you call her Buttons and the excitement when talking about her. She misses you too and she doesn't even know it. I'm going to cut this one short because I just can't... go there...

I miss your kisses. You are hands down, by far, the best kisser in the entire universe. I miss those soft, full lips. They were incredible. Love at first kiss, you said it right baby. If it weren't for your amazing kissing skills, we would not be where we are today - you know it! That's what won me over, it was always funny to think about. You made my knees go weak and then you used to make fun of me for it! I made your knees weak. I miss weak knees.

I miss fighting with you. It may sound weird, but it was part of our life, and like I said, I miss everything. Man, we fought. You were fun to fight with though, when you got mad, your vein would make its grand appearance - your daughter does that, too. I miss the way you'd clench your whole body up and look soooo angry and mean but I was not scared because I knew even though you were mad at me at the time, you wouldn't be later. I miss knowing that no stupid fight could tear us apart. I miss yelling, we were both so fucking loud. Shake the house loud. You never wanted me to leave after a fight. And you would never let me go to bed angry. No matter how angry you were at me, I was still your main concern. I miss your apologies and the way you accepted my apologies. I miss that underneath the superficial reason we were angry, we loved each other enough to talk it out and let it go right away. I miss your love notes.

I miss you holding me. I miss feeling so safe in your arms, how tightly you could squeeze. I miss how warm you always were, letting me stick my feet under your legs because my toes are always cold. I miss that when you held me, it felt like nothing in the world was wrong. I miss the way our legs felt under the covers. I miss the way you played with my hair or stroked my skin. I miss how you were always touching me. You know how much I like being touched and you liked to touch (don't be gross here people, I'm talking regular PG touching).

I miss talking to you. I miss the conversations we would have and the views we would discuss. I miss how different our perspectives were but how they seemed to somehow align. Even though we had completely different life experiences, we seemed to be on the same page about so much, we thought so much alike but expressed it so differently. I missed when we disagreed and could have a debate. I miss being right. I miss being wrong. I miss you suddenly remembering what my uncle told you on our wedding day "Yes dear."

I miss playing video games. I miss wii-ing and taking an entire weekend to play old school nintendo or SNES. I miss how competitive we were. I miss getting beaten, horribly, at wii sword fighting and I miss the occasional times I'd actually win and rub it in your face.

I miss our random excursions. I miss you driving over curbs (every time I do that now I think of you and know you're proud - I used to totally freak!). I miss traveling with you. I miss date nights and weekend outtings. I miss watching movies. I miss you reciting lines from movies. I miss you constantly watching Kung Fu Panda and I Love You Man. I miss cooking for you and how everything I made was excellent to you. I miss trying new recipes.

I miss your pet names. I miss you calling me baby. I sometimes miss "Princess Poopstain" but not all the time. Ok, I miss it all the time. I miss you picking on me, never mean just funny. I miss my pet names, Stink (Stinky, Stinky Man), Jonny Cakes, Portopot, Portopotamus, Poppa Bear... I miss that no matter what new name I came up with you were ok with. But most of all, I miss my Stink.

I miss your love. I miss how much you loved me and how you always let me know. I miss your... physical love as well. I miss your hot bod. I miss you kissing me on the forehead, telling me how beautiful I am, how much you love me, and what a great wife I am. So often I felt I didn't measure up to what you thought I was, but what I thought didn't matter because to you I just was and there was no one in the world better.

I miss all the things we didn't get to do... Vacations, water parks, watching our kids grow old, owning a home, planting gardens, having pets, going camping, traveling, retiring, growing old... all the things so many people take for granted, that are part of a "normal" relationship... that we never got the opportunity to do. I miss them.

I miss how you made everything better. You made me a better person, and my life made sense with you in it. I miss that no matter what the problem was, you could fix it. I miss that you wouldn't allow any thing or any one to get me down, Don't let that bitch bother you baby. I miss you making me happy when I thought I was hitting a low. I miss that you could never fail to make me smile. I miss you fixing things, and I am counting on you to help me get through this, because without you, I don't know if I can do it.

I miss you baby, and I love you more than any word could express. Forever and ever, Babe.


Our Battalion is getting ready for homecoming. I'm not going to tell you how close, but the time is near(ish) and this is just more unwelcomed reality smacking me in the face. I should be there. I should be at the Battalion decorating with my best friends. I should be working on Jonny's banner. I should be freaking out about cleaning my house so that he comes home to a nice clean space. I should be picking out homecoming outfits, planning for family to visit and planning our vacation. Our second honey moon we were going to take. Should, should, should. Am not. I am not making his banner, I am not getting ready. I am not going to hug my Marine when he gets off the bus. God, I was looking so forward to that, to that reunion. They say marrying military is like getting to fall in love all over again, a honeymoon every time he comes home. I'll never know. I'll never see him get off the bus. I hate this. It is so unfair and I don't understand. I ask myself why me so frequently. I don't want it to be someone else either, but WHY ME?! Why can't I welcome him home with my friends, hold him again. Even just once more. Just one more time with him... I hate this. I can't say enough how much I hate it. Nothing changes it though. Not how much I hate it, not the moments when I don't want to do it anymore, not the words people say (however kind and wonderful and appreciated they are), not me keeping on with life, not me moping, not anything. Nothing changes it. So I guess all I can really do is suck it up and keep on trucking. Sounds awful but it's all I've got. I've got to keep moving everyday because his little girl is here. I've got to keep moving everyday because I want to make him proud. I've got to keep moving everyday because he'd want me to live my life to the fullest. He would want me happy. He only ever wanted me happy. And as hard as it is, I'm determined to do that... I just hope that I can.

In other, happier, news, I've made a small life decision. I have decided to go back to school. I am going to pursue my Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling. I'm taking a licensure track so I can (hopefully) get licensed in the state of North Carolina and do what I've wanted to do for a long time - counsel the guys who come home and need it most, counsel the families who need it most. I want to help. I want to see others thrive and prosper and become better people. I want to let people know that together we can get through it. We will never forget and we will always hurt but we can live our lives. At least, that's what I'm hoping. I'm hoping we can live on, and hopefully, eventually, happily. Or at least some semblance of happiness. I don't know if I'll ever be truly happy the way I was. I will always feel something missing, there will always be a giant hole in my heart, but hopefully some kind of happiness is possible.

Well, this post is depressing enough so I'm gonna end it here...

Home Sweet (Messy) Home

My daughter staying in bed until a little after 1030 this morning is one indication that we had quite the busy weekend. We did so much while we were in Florida, I think next time we go will need to be just for some relax time because so far all the times we've been down there (including the time I went with Jonny, almost two years ago, for Thanksgiving) has been rushed and jam-packed with stuff. It was good, though. As I was saying in my Pre-Memorial Day post, so many positive things were going on, I can't complain about how busy it was.

Memorial Day was nice. We went to Bay Pines for their Memorial Day Ceremony which was really nice. Man, Florida is HOT though. I thought I could hang, living in North Carolina and all, and I could - in the shade - but man once you hit that sun.... woah.
Congressman Bill Young spoke and mentioned Jonny by name. That was not something I was expecting, but man did I well up with pride. My babe has touched so many lives, and it just continues to amaze me. He was truly such an amazing man. The greatest man I ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I am one lucky gal to have been loved (and to continue to be loved) by, and to love such a wonderful person. No, I didn't realize that just now, I knew it when he was here too, geez I knew it when I met him. I had a good (great) man. But seeing so many other people (who weren't head-over-heels in love with him) having such great things to say and who are so glad to have known him, or even those who didn't know him but still have such great things to say, continues to show to the world how absolutely wonderful he was.
After the speeches and the music at Memorial Day, Ariana and I went up with the Gold Star families for the placing of the wreath and meeting Bill Young. Then I took my baby girl and we walked along the lines of flag and stone marked fallen. Like I said before, I wanted to visit with his fallen comrades as well as honor him. They are all important.

After the ceremony we went to have some lunch and then to the Military Museum. We were hoping to see the brick that had been donated in honor of Jonny in its place in the Remembrance Walk and Garden but unfortunately it hadn't been put up yet. It's ok though, we got a picture of what it looks like and it is really nice.

Then we headed over to his oldest sister's house for some delicious cook out food. I enjoyed eating entirely too much (mmmm) and feeling awkward as everyone watched us on a couple of news channels. When the press asks, I am open to talking about my husband. I am so very proud and I believe the American people need to see it, to know the true impact of war. I still hope and pray everyday that I represent my husband and my fellow Marine (and greater Military) Spouses well. Buuut it's still awkward seeing myself on tv... Ariana however, she is so cute no matter what medium is used!

After a long day of travel yesterday, we are back at home. While I loved visiting and being with his family (and my mommy, too) it's nice to be back at home. I've grown quite fond of having my own space the last few years or so and sometimes I just need time to myself to unwind, especially after such a hectic weekend. Today will be filled with lots of domestic goodness - trying to get my house in order. We have so much stuff, which isn't a bad thing, I just need to figure out where to put it all! When it comes to cleanliness, I am good to go. I regularly clean my kitchen and bathroom and anything that would be considered "dirty" because, well, that's just gross. Buuuut I must admit, I'm kind of a slob. Ok, the term "disorganized" may be nicer. I am just so bad at putting things away! I am also a bit of a packrat - I HATE throwing things away. And all the things I do have, I want to be able to see, if ever I should need them. But, it's time to utilize our handy-dandy storage shed and make my house look like a home again instead of it's own variation of home/storage facility! Wish me luck that the domestic gods are on my side today and I get a lot done.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend and had some good food and family time (in between remembering the fallen, of course) and continues to have a good week!

Also, a quick note to the nasty commenters: I respect people's opinions. Part of the fun of being human is that we all have different perspectives and opinions and we are all different. Feel free to share your differing opinions. HOWEVER, if you do so disrespectfully, it's not going to be posted. In fact, it's probably not even going to be read. And if you're just writing to say mean or hurtful things about me or my family because you think you have some clue about us, what we're going through, or an idea of what our intentions may be, or anything else about our situation, well frankly you're just a turd and you need to learn compassion and empathy. I only choose to share certain aspects of our lives as this is public view, I do so because I enjoy blogging, it helps me, and I've heard it helps others too, so if you're going to criticize the way I do things or the why of how I do things, well, I don't care for your opinion in that case and you're better off just keeping your nasty comments to yourselves. I know there are a hundred times more people supporting us and rooting for us to do well, so those few of you that feel the need to leave mindless rude comments are just honestly, not worth my time.

Copyright © 2014 | Designed by: Broken Road Creative