I Should Be Doing Homework

But I am just not motivated right now! I've been struggling with this week's discussion topic all day - once I realized "CRAP It's Wednesday, my homework is due tonight!" Ha. OOOPS! Some things will never change, namely my procrastination...

So instead, I am here blogging about my fun last two days. Once again a complete turn-around from the last post, but I'm pretty sure you guys are used to my roller coaster emotions by now.

Monday I took Miss Thang to a doctor's appointment. I had been pretty sick with a nasty cold-like thing in which my chest was rattling and what do ya know this weekend Miss Thang picked it up and as soon as her chest started rattling I knew it was time to get her in ASAP. Luckily the doc appointment worked perfectly with my schedule (how often does that happen?) and I took her in right after saying See ya to grammy and dropping her off at the airport. It was a quick trip (my appt was at 11 and we were done and out - pharmacy included - and on the road by 1130 - yes, at NAVAL, I know, you're shocked too) and my suspicions were correct, Miss Thang had a yucky little case of bronchitis. She's now on Amoxicillin (sp) and doc (who I think is fabulous) says she should be all clear in no time. She's got her 6 month check up tomorrow, so they will prob update me on how she's doing.

After that, we headed out to Swansboro to hang out with our friends Caitlin and baby Gigi! Ari and G are 4 days apart and have been bff since the womb. All of us ended up napping at the same time, G and I fell asleep staring at each other on floor, Ari had stolen her crib and Cait was on the couch, total sleeping partay! Then Christian, Caitlin's husband came home and invited me (told me I was going - my fave kind of decisions) to dinner with some of their friends. We went to dinner at the Ice House and even though Christian had called ahead they weren't ready for all of us so we ended up waiting forever. I enjoyed some drinks but I gotta tell ya, I wasn't too impressed with the Ice House. Slow service is definitely one of my biggest pet peeves. Regardless, I had a blast and met some fun new people so that is always a plus. Caitlin and I watched our favorite fat camp show - HUGE when we got back and then I passed out on the couch. I always have my pack and play for nights like this so Ari was already sleeping, she travels so awesome :)

We went home and took a nap then Caitlin came over and we started some serious organizing on my house. My house was looking much more like a storage space and less like a home. Mind you, Jonny and I were going to be moving so I hadn't hung up much decorations (ok, no decorations in Ariana's room... fail mom) and we have so much stuff still in boxes, things were just piling up. I was getting anxiety about not being able to find stuff and not being able to move in certain rooms so Caitlin cracked the whip and we got so much done, house is finally starting to look home-y. After Caitlin left I was chillin out on the couch getting ready to watch some missed TV from the week when I heard beep beep. I look outside and there's my parents new RV! They came down and surprised me!! I love my mommy and daddy so much I was preeeeettty stoked to see them outside.

Last night I had one of my famous RP Yard Parties. We always have a blast just hanging out, drinkin' eatin' BSin' in my yard. I had my RPYP "Regulars" there, Uncle Katie and Aunt Bill (don't ask) as well as new addition to the Yard Party, Evan. And my mom yarded it up for a little bit too. We had a great time. Uncle Katie and I ended up making easy mac and I didn't put enough water in it, the easy mac was all sticky and gross, we had to add extra water, she also added extra cheese. She also found blue cheese in my fridge. And by blue I mean the color, not the kind. I tried to justify it by saying Jonny bought it (probably not true... ha) and she made fun of me for 900 hours before throwing it out. I guess the next thing that needs to be organized is my fridge. I'm probably sharing way too much right now. Ha. Either way we had a fun night, a very much needed fun night. I love sitting around havin some brews and chatting with my girls (and guy, sorry Ev). I love that I can just talk about Jonny and tell stories and even if it's one I've already told no one really cares and they still laugh and like hearing about my babe. And I love the support I get from my friends. Definitely a great couple days with great friends.

Well, that was a long rambly post and Kohlberg's theory of moral development is calling my name (as is dinner that my mommy's cooking) so I'll catch all you bloggy friends later!

I've Been Missing

Sorry guys, didn't mean to worry you. The last couple weeks have been supremely busy. I had some 1/6 widsters stay with me last week and the memorial was this weekend. The week before that was probably not "busy" my mind has just been so cluttered.

Shit's gotten real. There's no other way I can put it. Hold on, before I go there, let me back track.

Widster time was pretty nice. We laughed together, cried together. Shared our notification stories. I got to show my videos of my babe, read my notes... we looked at pictures. We drank some alcohol some nights and didn't other nights and hung out and just enjoyed being in the company of others who "get it."
We prepared together for a weekend that would make everything a bit more real, a bit more final. And that is exactly what it did.

We had a memorial dinner. The battalion gave us spouses Eagle, Globe and Anchor necklaces. They are beautiful but of course I cried upon unwrapping and discovering what it was. I also cried in the middle of dinner because there were 10 guys who should have been sitting there with us. 10 guys we all miss so much that we wish we didn't have to have that dinner in the first place. Silent tears, but tears none the less. Jonny's CO talked to me a little about the accident, but he couldn't give me much info because he wasn't there that night.
A guy that was in the truck behind his gave me details from that perspective earlier on in the week and also a photo. No, I hadn't asked for the photo, I wasn't expecting it, he brought some other photos and that one took me completely by surprise. He was trying to help. I think they understand we want all the details of our husbands last moments, but a photo was definitely not something I was searching for. Can't blame him though, but it certainly sucked.

Friday was the memorial. It was basically the hottest day of the year and I thought I was just going to melt into the ground at any given moment. There were several moments I wish I could have... It was tough. I sobbed. I could say it was harder than the funeral events, but I don't really remember them. I say I think it was harder though, because it was real. All the guys were there except the ones we were wishing so hard for to be there. And now that the period I call the "fog" has lifted, it definitely felt more real than anything. Four months out and it is finally hitting me - he is not coming home to me. Ever. Reality fucking blows (I think I've said that before).
It was beautifully done though. Many people had nice things to say and paid their respects to Jonny's field cross. I had thought of getting a sitter for Ariana but I decided against it. I want to tell her when she is older that she was a part of everything. She came to every single event for her dad and was never left out.

After the memorial was a luncheon at the O Club. It was really nice and the food was tasty, a few friends and I joked that we could get used to eating there. The battalion had these really nice pencil sketches done of each of the guys which they presented to us there, along with dog tags and a folded flag. This was a flag that was flown in Marjah on Memorial Day for all of the fallen angels of 1/6. They also gave us a little certificate that had said a few things but the line I remember most is "This flag was flown in the face of the enemy..." I find this flag incredibly special. Then the CO that was in the truck during the accident sat down and talked with Jonny's mom and I, told us what happened basically step by step. It was so hard to hear and I'm not going to get into details on here but it's definitely a conversation I will probably never forget - at least not certain details of it. There are still things I just don't get - I probably never will.

I got a migraine Friday night after it was done and worked through it with no meds. Ok, that's a little lie, I did take an Exedrine (which typically doesn't even touch the edges of my migraines) after the numbness and vision issues were over. Then I slept off the rest. It was a physically and emotionally exhausting weekend and I feel like I could sleep for months... years. If only I had that option.

I know this post is pretty erratic, but I'm tired and there was just so much going on. I'm so sad. Everything is so real and so final. I spent some time reading old posts from my blogs I had before this one. I was so full of hope. I just knew that our life together would be long. It would difficult, but I knew that it would be a long one. Filled with trials and tribulations that I was ready to take head on.

Staff Sergeant said in his speech about Jonny that when they got home from their training in California he met me and I was "in full control." I only wish I could say that now. Everything is out of control, and there is nothing I can do about it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will change this. I am stuck. I am stuck here living without the one person who made my life complete. And I fucking hate it! I hate it.

I just don't think people get how much I love him. And how empty and lonely and sad I am without him. We had hopes and dreams and a future. We had the world in front of us. And this is not fair. It's just not fair. He should be here, he should be helping me raise Ariana, spending time with her, with us. Holding her, holding me. I hate seeing families together because mine will never, ever be complete. Wanna tell me that I'll probably find love again? Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. But either way, my family and my heart will never be complete because the one thing I loved most in this world, the one person who made my life truly worth living is gone. Now, it's Ariana. She makes my life worth living. But I'm so sad. I'm so, so very sad without him.

I want to be happy and I do what I can to appear that way on most days but it just seems after all this memorial stuff, the finality of it all, I've just hit a very low point. That point where you just want to curl up in a hole. Curl up and wait. For the inevitable. To see him again. But I CAN'T! I do not have that option. And that, to me, isn't fair either. I don't want to be a broken mother for my daughter but sometimes I'm afraid that's all I can give her. I can't give her her father and I don't know how much of me is left. I don't even feel like me anymore. I will give her everything that I have left though, I can promise her that. I will give her anything that remains here, but lately thinking about it, I'm not sure how much that is. They say that time heals all wounds but I know I'll never be perfectly healed. I just hope over time there's more of me to give. I promise to always do my best and always be the best mom I can but I'm terrified that it's not going to be good enough. What if time gets unbearable? I see time as a very scary thing. Over time, I will realize it's been longer and longer and longer since I've seen him. I'm afraid he will fade and I will begin to fade with him. I guess I've got to remain hopeful that I will gain strength, somewhere. I pray that he will continue to give me strength and he will never let himself fade. And I know that Ariana will give me strength and I will always have him in her, and I will always tell her of him. But what if that's not enough?

We can play what if's all day, but no one has the answers. I suppose all that's left to do is jump in head first and do my best. My very, very best. I just pray my best is good enough. And I pray one day it doesn't hurt as bad, because right now, it's killer. I've never hurt so bad in my life.

There's a thousand more things I want to talk about, but I'm drained and I'm not making any sense. Way to go on the super depressing post after being MIA so long... sorry guys, it's all I've got right now...

60 Seconds Cocktails Helping Our Troops

I was contacted by a representative from Bacardi for a summer program they are doing with the USO to help our troops!

Heather from Bacardi describes the program like this:
" Bacardi USA’s “60 Second Cocktail Program,” an initiative launched by Bacardi, USA in association with the USO. This summer, Bacardi, USA encourages Americans to toast to the troops with its “60 Second Cocktails Program”. Bacardi has committed to donate $75,000 to the USO at the onset of summer, with consumers (21+) able to increase the total donation; each time a fan joins Bacardi’s “60 Second Cocktails” Facebook page at 60 Second Cocktails Program and clicks DONATE, the company will send $1 to the USO. With just one click, anyone can give!"

Sooo, head on over to the facebook link and click to donate! And also, if you're feeling fiesty, try some of these neat recipes Heather included in her email for a sweet BBQ:

BACARDI® Hand-Shaken Daiquiri

3 parts BACARDI Superior Rum

1 part lime juice

1 part simple syrup

(or 2 Tbsp. Sugar)

Directions: In a shaker with ice, combine ingredients. Shake and pour into rocks glass with ice.

GREY GOOSE® Fresh Berry Lemonade

1 ½ parts GREY GOOSE Vodka

Fresh-squeezed lemonade

5 raspberries

1 tsp. sugar

Directions: In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle raspberries with sugar. Pour into a tall glass over ice. Top with GREY GOOSE vodka and lemonade. Present with raspberries and a lemon.

CAZADORES® Margarita

3 parts Tequila CAZADORES Reposado

2 parts premium triple sec

1 part fresh lime juice

Serve blended with or over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.


1 part BACARDI LIMÓN Flavored Rum

3 parts iced tea

Pour over ice and garnish with a lemon wedge.


2 parts DEWAR’S® 12 Blended Scotch Whiskey

1 part fresh lemon juice

1 part simple syrup

1 part ginger ale

Lemon wedge

Combine DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker filled 2/3 full of ice. Shake 4-6 times and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with a lemon wedge.



½ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice

¾ part simple syrup

3 parts club soda

Directions: Pour first three ingredients into a Collins glass with ice and stir. Add more ice, top with club soda and stir well once more. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


Grilled Watermelon, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 6

The hotter the grill is the better the “grill marks” will be left on the melon. I love the spicy pepper jelly vinaigrette over the melon before it’s grilled because the sugars will quickly caramelize, creating an incredible flavor. However, feel free to substitute what ever vinaigrette you may have on hand.

6 large slices seedless watermelon, rind removed

2 tablespoons BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pinch sugar

1 sprig basil, chopped

2 cups tomatoes, peeled (mixed colors of smaller varieties are best)

1/2 cup fresh goat cheese

2 or 3 handfuls of young lettuces

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh garden herbs such as chives, chive blossoms, chervil, parsley and / or dill

  1. Marinate the watermelon in the BACARDI GRAND MELÓN Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette for several minutes before grilling over high heat. Grill each both sides of the watermelon for several minutes and remove.
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sugar and basil together with enough salt and pepper to tasted.
  3. Toss the small tomatoes with the vinaigrette in the bowl and place on individual plates or a platter along with the grilled watermelon.
  4. Crumble the goat cheese over the top of the tomatoes and watermelon. Toss the lettuces in the vinaigrette remaining in the small bowl and serve over the top of the salad.
  5. Garnish with what ever fresh garden herbs that you have available.

BACARDI® GRAND MELÓN Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

Yields 4 cups

2 red peppers, brunoise

1 cup pepper jelly

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sambal chili paste

2 cup canola

1/2 cup Bacardi Grand Melón Flavored Rum

Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and whisk until well combined.

Grilled Flank Steak with Louisiana Peach and GREY GOOSE® Citron Glaze

Serves 6

3 pounds flank steak

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 1/4 cup over ripe peaches, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon sambal chili paste

1/2 cup GREY GOOSE Citron Flavored Vodka

1/4 cup sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a small sauce pan cook the canola oil, shallot, garlic and ginger over medium heat until the shallot becomes translucent but not brown.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil on high, before removing and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Season flank steak with salt and pepper. Coat with olive oil and grill over medium heat. Cook until rare or desired temperature.
  4. Slice flank steak thin and serve with glaze.

Grilled Chicken Breast with Tequila CAZADORES® Reposado Lime Glaze

Serves 6

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

4 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce

4 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled

2-3 teaspoons sambal chili paste

3 tablespoons Tequila CAZADORES Reposado

6 boneless chicken breasts

1 lime, zested

  1. Combine wine vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, sambal, and Tequila CAZADORES Reposado into a food processor and puree for a moment or so with 1/2 cup water. Do not worry about straining the sauce. Reserve about 1 cup of sauce.
  2. Marinate chicken breast in remaining glaze for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and grill on a preheated grill over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side.
  3. Top with grated lemon zest and serve with a side the glaze.

Grilled Peaches with BACARDI® Gold Rum

Yields three cups

2 cups Louisiana Peaches, pealed, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup BACARDI Gold Rum

1. Toss the peaches in lemon juice, sugar and rum.

2. Place on a hot grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

3. Place peaches back into the lemon, sugar and BACARDI Gold Rum mixture.

4. Serve with ice cream

I'm working on a really serious post right now and one describing my day yesterday, so be on the lookout for two from me!

Blame It On the Can Opener

What are we blaming? The tears of course!

I can look back at this and laugh now, hours later, but man that can opener...

Background: As a wedding gift from my little in Phi Mu, we got an electric can opener. My little could never use the can opener we had in our college apartment and I think this was where this gift came from. The irony of it all is I could never figure out how to use the damn electric concoction. Therefore, anytime I needed a can opened, the hubs would have to do it. I think at one time I had a back up old fashioned can opener, but who knows where my little friend is these days...

So today, I cooked. Oh yeah, I didn't mention that? I've cooked - two days in a row. Ok, maybe it doesn't count as cooking, per se. I made easy mac and microwaved frozen peas last night and tonight I was making spaghetti noodles dressed in butter and cheese and canned corn. So it's not a gourmet meal, but it's a start. I turned on the stove, used a pot and everything!
Anyway, I reach in the cabinet and grab the corn and notice it's not a pop-top.

And the tears start. Oh no! How am I ever going to get my veggie? I can't use the damn can opener!! I must have stared at that ridiculous can for several seconds before slowly heading over to the can-opener corner. We had a stare down. I look him right in the face and held the can out. I whispered a quick prayer to Jonny... Uh babe, if you could help me open this corn, that'd be great. And I began. It took a couple tries but... I GOT IT! I succeeded in opening the corn!

It's crazy the little things that will get to you. My mom lost it over a pack of steak tips in the super market (steak tips were Jonny's specialty). Ahhh the roller coaster in which I live.


Why do I go to people's pages to see their homecoming photos? Why did I watch the news clip about 1/6 coming home? Why do I still get on facebook at all this week?

Clearly, I love to torture myself.

Watching the clip sucked probably even more than pictures. It was so super sweet (sense the sarcasm) to see the family with Welcome Home Johnny Boy t-shirts on. That's what some of his family called him (no h, though) and yeah, it sucked to see those shirts but no Jonny Porto.

It also sucked seeing dads hold their babies for the first time. I try to dig down in my heart and be happy for them, one less little baby having to grow up without their dad... but... it's hard to find that much compassion when my heart is so broken and my little girl doesn't have a choice but to grow up without her dad.

I want to scream at the world.

I'm over tired today which makes me even grouchier. I've got things to do tho, so I won't be getting more sleep... Post office and WIC are calling my name. I'm sure WIC will be a joy, it always is, and I'm sure it'll be super fun on like 3.5 hours of sleep.

It was really cool that Miss Thang decided to wake up at 4am and was still making noise in her bed at 5. Hopefully that was a one night thing. She's been eating funny too, not as much as usual, wonder if it's a teeth thing? Maybe she'll be like "Yo, mom. I'm not sleeping because my teeth hurt and I'm not eating because I'd rather chew on the spoon for relief." That'd be pretty cool.

In other news, NPR picked up the story the Florida radio station, WUSF, did on Jonny. Click here to give it a listen, it was done really well just as the Florida one was. Bobbie O'Brien is a very, very nice woman. I can't remember if I posted her original story that aired on WUSF or not, but if I didn't and you want to give it a listen, go to WUSF.com and search Porto and it should come up.

D-Day (7 months)

I've been thinking a lot about the day he left today. Today marks 7 months since I last touched him, saw him in the flesh, kissed, hugged, held him. I really didn't expect the guys to be coming home until late July early August, I was definitely a prepare for the worst and rejoice if they're home earlier gal, but as more and more buses roll in, reality continues to strike that he's not on any of them. So, I've been thinking a lot about the last day I saw him, exactly 7 months from today.

While he was deployed, I blogged the time he'd been gone in parenthesese (just recapping for those of you who are newer), so this title is reminiscent of those days I was counting up (and down but as per OPSEC I didn't let anyone in on my countdown).

My post from December 8, 2009 says this:
Day Zero (Did That Just Happen?)

So I hugged him and kissed him, Told him I love him and that I'd miss him.

And then I sent him off to war.

I'm pretty sure there are parts of me that are missing now. Nothing feels right.
Stay at home by myself? Go to a friends house? Go back to Maryland?
I can't decide because nothing feels right at all.

Attempting to watch 12 Men of Christmas, maybe I'll just pass out from sheer exhaustion.

Prayers/well wishes/good thoughts please.

Oh how those feelings reoccur now in widowhood. If I thought part of me was missing then, I had no idea. Let me think back on that last day though, all the moments I can remember...

You didn't have to be there until later. I think we left our house sometime around noonish, but I'm not certain. I was allowed to come with you, something very rare for an armorer. I had baked cookies the night before - Snickerdoodles, your favorite. I knew you'd be sitting at Cherry Point for a while and I wanted to make sure you had a snack. I packed them in a ziploc bag.

I'd spent the night before holding on to you for dear life. That morning too. Holding you as close to me as I possibly could. The thought of letting you go, watching you leave, ate my heart away, but I knew I would go and I would be as strong as I possibly could for you. I was fully aware that I was one of the forces behind the forces.

I cried when we were intimate and you told me not to be sad. That it wouldn't be that long until we were together again. And we laughed about what "it" would be like when you got back. I held your hand tighter than I ever had, I clutched onto the "meaty part" my favorite part that I always seemed to grab.

We left the house and road pretty quietly on to base. I fought back my tears as much as I could. I wasn't ready to say "See ya later." Although we knew for a while this day was coming, the reality of it was sickening. As we pulled close to the armory, Lady Gaga's Bad Romance came on. We had grown some weird love obsession with this song and we both laughed and did the Ra Ra's and acted like idiots. We laughed and sang and danced in our truck. We shared our last happy moments.

We sat in the armory for hours, what felt like years. You enjoyed your cookies and shared them with the guys. They were gone before we even left the armory. We talked with the guys and there was the buzz of anticipation mixed with sadness and a little fear although none of you would admit it. SSgt's son drew him pictures in paint on the computer and wrote " Dear Dad please don't die" as the caption. I remember telling you you weren't allowed on convoys. They terrified me. I said Jonny Porto, no convoys for you, you're going to be in a nice personal hole with a bubble around you and personal guards. It had been our joke all the way up to deployment. Of course I knew you'd have to ride in convoys, how else would you get from place to place? I'm not stupid, it was just our joke. That Sgt called you out and told you not to tell me you wouldn't be on convoys and you told him I knew and that it was just our little saying. Obviously you weren't going to be in a personal bubble and guard protected hole and you'd have to get from place to place by way of convoy - but a girl can dream, right?

One of your friends showed a neat tactical light and said you HAD to have it, so we went to the 7 day store to grab some drinks and then to the Annex to find the light. You thanked me for buying it for you and I said something about I'd get anything to keep you safe. Before we walked in to the store, we passed an officer (Captain, I believe, I don't quite remember) and you saluted. He said Welcome Back! (sleeves were down so it's easy to tell you were either coming or going) and you said No, sir just leaving today. And he said Very well, stay safe and see you soon. We got back to the armory and the other companies were drawing weapons. I got in trouble for yelling out the window trying to find a friend's husband to let her know if he was over at the armory yet or not... oops.

After everyone else got their weapons, you guys drew yours and we headed over to the main battalion building where everyone was just standing around. You added your gear minus the pack you'd be carrying with you to the sea of tan and green. A while later, we realized that you'd probably want your fleece and hunted until we found your pack in the said sea to get it out.

There was a tent with chips and hot chocolate and I got us some. It was freezing and the FRO gave me her wind breaker to put over my hoodie, since it was the only outer wear I'd thought to grab - hey it was warm when we left the house - and I was in flip flops (as usual). You kissed me on my forehead more times than I could count and we took a couple photos. I didn't want to take many photos because I didn't want to think back on such a sad day, I was more focused on taking photos at homecoming - the happy ones. I hadn't worn makeup that day because I knew it would just run all over leaving me looking more of a mess. You knelt down and talked to Ariana. You told her to take care of me and that you'd be home soon. You told her that you loved her and couldn't wait to hold her, that it wouldn't be long. I couldn't shake the sadness, I didn't want you to leave. No Marine wife (milwife) likes watching her husband leave, but this first time was almost unbearable.

All of a sudden, First Sargeant started yelling FORM IT UP FORM IT UP FORM IT UP!!! You gave me a quick peck, grabbed your carry on and rifle and headed over to the field and stood in formation. I thought to myself Is that it?! That's all I get?? You're leaving... Now? It's happening?? The anxiety began, hardcore. I asked you if you'd be back over before getting on the bus and you said probably not, that's why you had your stuff. I watched you stand in formation. My chest was tight and I fought the urge to run to you. Then formation broke and as you assumed, you all started walking away from where I stood - to the buses. My body filled with terror. What about my final see ya later? My final hug and kiss? That wasn't enough! I saw a couple people walking towards you guys and I walk/ran/waddled after them. I caught you before you got on. Thank God, I caught you. I held you so tight and I didn't want to let go. You told me that I had to. You told me that you'd be fine and it wouldn't be so bad, you'd be home soon. You told me you loved me, Forever and ever. You kissed me and you walked up the stairs.

You got a window seat and I stood there clutching the only thing I had - a ginormous LeBleu water bottle we'd gotten at the 7 day store earlier that day. You made the I Love You hand sign to me and I made it back to you. Tears streamed down both our cheeks. I would have done anything to keep you here. I told you "head down, ass lower" in some crazy sign and we laughed through our tears. You told me over and over through the window I Love You. I said it back. I clutched the bottle. I shivered. I couldn't feel the cold anymore, I could feel the loneliness setting in.

The Battalion CO came over and talked to me. He'd known me because of my involvement in Family Readiness. He put his arm around my shoulders and said Take care of yourself. I said Take care of my Marine and laughed a little. We said see you soon and he left to say good bye to his own family and get on his bus.

I watched the buses roll away. I couldn't move from that spot until your bus was totally gone. I was frozen, watching you leave.

Confusion set in and I wandered my way up to the FRO's office, not sure what to do next. I was alone, you were gone, off to war.

Alana came and picked me up. She took me to her house and made me eat. She knew I had to eat, if not for me then for baby girl. Eddie and I talked about your job since you wouldn't really tell me exactly what you would be doing. Like everyone, he assured me that I shouldn't worry, that you might have to go on convoys (my worst fear) but that you wouldn't be going out on patrols. I am thankful to him for talking so openly with me. Of course I still worried, but it helped me remain strong for you while you were gone. I am thankful that he told me what it is you do while you're there and I am thankful for such good friends who took me in the night you left. When I felt collected enough Alana took me back to the armory and I picked up your truck and headed home.

When I got there, some more of Ariana's nursery furniture had arrived and I had to maneuver it and my rotund self through the door at the same time. My first challenge as a deployment wife, which I succeeded at. Then, I sat on the couch, I stood up, I sat down, I stood up. I wandered the house. I looked at some dirty laundry you'd left on the bathroom floor and I cried. I called mom and cried. I cried and felt lost. I thought of going to a friend's but I didn't want to leave the house. I didn't want to be there alone, I didn't want to be anywhere else either.

I slept on the couch that night and for nights to come. I left that laundry for days, maybe even weeks. I felt completely lost.

I think back to those feelings now and they're not much different from how I feel day-to-day. Sometimes when I think back to those first few nights, the anxiety strikes again. I remember how scared and lonely and worried and confused I was and it strikes a chord and sets off a panic attack. This isn't temporary anymore and I fear these lost feelings will never be shaken.

I miss you Jonny Porto, I miss you more than it can be put into words. 7 months is hard without seeing you, 4 months is hard not hearing from you in any way, knowing that you're gone, and the rest of my life is so long to wait. But I will see you again baby. It's always see you later, never goodbye.

Chill Out, Mrs P

After having a very interesting conversation with a fellow blogger today (you know who you are) I had a realization.

I have been extremely defensive and overly sensitive.

I have realized that any type of criticism has made me extremely upset, any kind of disagreement has brought me to bring out the big guns.

I got thinking on this after I came to this conclusion. I feel like it is partially justified, I do feel like people are watching more than usual and waiting for me to do something crazy or even just a little bit off from what they think I "should" do. But being this girl who wigs out every single time she may even think someone has whispered about her is not me. Not at all. I've always been the kind of person to just brush it off. Oh, you think that? Ok, that's nice... but that girl has faded and this new person has emerged where every little thing gets me all bothered.

Lately, it's as if I feel the need to justify every single thing I do and say. Is that true? Are people really asking that of me or am I imagining it? Probably a combination of both. But for me to hear that people may be asking questions (especially without knowing if this is true and what those questions are) and turn it into something ugly is just nuts. It could be something ugly or it could not be. Who knows and really, who needs to know? Not me. I don't need to know (I know, I know I touched on this a little in the last post but this is a new side, ok guys?). And honestly, who knows how much of what I think people are saying is actually being said?? It's like I have been living in fear of people thinking or speaking bad of me that I have begun to just assume the worst - and that's just not a way to live.

I need to remember how to let things roll off again. I need to remember that every piece of criticism isn't meant to tear me down. And I need to stop being so damn defensive. Maybe not every one is out to get me so why I need to put up walls and justify myself to every single comment I really don't know.

I think part of it, these days, is because I want to do my very best representing my husband. I've always held being a Marine wife in such high regard because you represent your spouse and now that he is gone I want to make sure I represent him even better than I did before because he is not here to make his own statement. It's like I hold it solely upon myself to make sure every memory of him is a good one and that he is always remembered as a great person that I forget I am also still my own person. He is a part of me, yes, and things I do, do (haha do-do) reflect on him, but my choices and actions now are not going to mar anyone's image of him - and if they do, well then clearly that person didn't know him or us. And is me being a freak-out bitch over ever silly thing (or grilling people on whether or not people are talking about me) really representing him or myself well at all? Probably not.

I also realized I spend a lot of time bitching, especially on here, about what so-and-so said about me or what I think may have been said or who stopped being my friend or who commented my facebook status. It's ridiculous and not necessary. Like I said, I do not need to justify to anyone the things that I do and my real friends will accept me even if other people do feel the need to leave a nasty facebook comment or whisper ugly things. The people who love me will never be intentionally hurtful to me and they will understand I make the choices that make me happy, make life easier for me, or just seem to make sense at the time. I am living in fear that anyone will think ill of me and it is simply an impossible goal. It is impossible to make everyone like you. I always preach that part of the fun of being human is that not everyone agrees and I need to practice it a little more, not everyone is going to agree with the things I do or say, but that's ok, that's their choice to have a differing opinion and I don't need to be scared of people who don't agree. In the end I will know who is there for me and who is not and I will be stronger because of it.

So here's to trying to let some of the barriers down. Here's to trying to let things roll off my back. Here's to ignoring the whispers - those real and those imagined. Here's to trying to stop being so high-strung and sensitive, bitching about every little thing. Here's to stop trying to constantly "prove" myself. Here's to just enjoying life no matter what opinions people may have on it. Here's to looking for the positive in life and enjoying what I have. Here's to trying to just chill out.

Adrenaline Rush

Alright Twi-tards, you're going to love this one. Obviously I am a Twi-tard myself or I probably never would have come up with this but I digress. I haven't seen Eclipse yet, I'm a fail fan.

Anyway, you know when Bella starts riding the motorcycle, she sees Edward? And then when she jumps off the cliff, he's there? Remember?
Well, it's true.

Ok, maybe not true in the fact that I got to see him or hear him, per se, but true in the fact that I can feel him.

In New Hampshire, I did a ropes course. It was sooo much fun and if you've never been to one you should certainly check it out. It's a great way to overcome fears if you have any, test yourself, and get a good workout, all while having a blast. We went to Monkey Trunks in Chocorua, NH.

We climbed on the ropes and I even did a zip line and human swing. The human swing was pretty terrifying, it was like you fell face first until you feel the rope catch. Definitely an adrenaline rush. Then I did this thing they call the Drop Zone. You stand on this super high ledge and you just.... step out. You fall and you're hooked to a harness but the hardest part is just stepping out.
Human swing

That's when I had my little chat with Jonny. It was quick it was an Are you ready babe? And down we went. It was so cool though, standing up on that ledge looking out over the mountains at the phenomenal view (as per usual in New Hampshire) it was like my babe was right there with me holding my hand and we stepped together.

Now I get it Bella, and I'm going to do my best not become a super adrenaline junky lol.

I also visited the tallest, fastest roller coaster on the East Coast. King's Dominion's Intimidator 305. It was most certainly a rush. The drop was so intense I lost vision for like a second. Apparently the day before so many people had blackouts from riding they had to slow it down by 10 mph. It was really like falling in a little cart. So intense. But such a smooth ride it didn't feel you were on a roller coaster at all! My friend and I went to KD before heading down to NC and then further to Myrtle Beach SC for 4th of July Weekend. There we had a blast riding all the roller coasters in the park. Lil one stayed with grandma for the weekend.

When we got to Myrtle Beach we got a little bit of a party on and had a "grown up" weekend. But wouldn't you know I missed my little girl like crazy and am happy to be back up in Maryland in mommy mode.

It's been fun traveling around. I guess the biggest issue I'm having these days is trying to figure out where I'm supposed to be, where I fit, where I belong. I feel like in Jacksonville, the place I had grown to love, I am not a good fit anymore. After I get my Master's, Jacksonville will be a good place for me for working because I want to work with Marines and their families, but right now, at this time, I don't feel as welcome there. I feel like I am constantly under the microscope and people judge every little move that I make. It's hard to grow in a place where you feel you can't even breathe. I've watched people suddenly stop being my friend for reasons unbeknown to me. I wish people would just grow up and discuss issues with one another but instead they just exile you from their lives. This is not a time where it feels good to be ostracized. I mean, it never does, but right now I can use as much support as I can get. I guess it's best to be rid of those who don't support me but it sure does suck when you realize certain people just don't give a damn. It also seems that there may be some people "asking questions" about me, and some of these may be Marines. The last thing I want is for Jonny's Marines to think poorly of me but I'm assuming 2/3 of what they may have heard is untrue. But, they may not be saying anything at all... who knows. So much "he said she said" and so much drama. I'm just over drama. Maybe it's best I don't know what people are saying about me, people are always going to talk. Maybe it's best people keep "what they heard" to themselves. One person told me there is a book called "What you think of me is none of my business" and I think that is a great quote. I don't want to hear your opinion of me, considering it's probably 98% unjustified, you've never walked in my shoes, and you have no idea the struggles I face daily. I guess I just need to go back to my "F what people think" attitude... Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind... Just do what I want to do and what makes me even a tiny bit happy. Easier said than done for a chronic people-pleaser.


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