In case anyone hasn't noticed, the Marine Corps is pretty close to my heart. I mean, a certain Marine is my heart, so of course I keep the Corps close by as well.
Anyway, Valour IT has this fantastic fundraiser to raise money for laptops donated to wounded service members. These laptops are free (hence, donation) to the wounded and include voice activated software for those who may no longer be able to use their hands - pretty sweet, right? They also donate GPS systems for those suffering from memory loss. It is an awesome cause and is highly appreciated by wounded servicemembers.

Sooo, this year, I'm on Team Marine (OORAH!). I'm here to have you head on over to the site and make a donation. Our goal is $15,000 and we would love to not only raise money for this awesome cause but also to WIN! (Ok, you know, I get excited about competition... anyway, moving along...)

So go HERE if you would like to donate
and go HERE if you would like to join the team!

There is also a sweet auction associated with this fundraiser. The highest bidder gets the item (obvi) and the money for the item is donated to the bid-winner's choice team. So go bid on some neat stuff and tell them it's for TEAM MARINE!!!

Woooooo!!!!! (PS can I just say I love that the widget (see below) features one of Jonathan's favorite USMC quotes?)

learn more


Have you ever hurt to your soul? If you did, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's a pain unlike any other. It's more than body pain, it's more than heart pain, it's soul pain. You feel it to the very core of your being and beyond. Your whole essence hurts.

Maybe it's there every second of every day, maybe it hits you like a brick wall when you're least expecting it. But when it hits, you know. Your soul is aching. My soul hurts right now. There's emptiness and there is pain.

This was not the life I had planned. I'm sure anyone in my shoes would say the same. I'm sure people not in my shoes say it, too. But really. This isn't it. When I said "Til death do us part," I didn't think it'd be when I was 23 and you had just turned 26. I didn't think it'd be during your first deployment. I thought we had many deployments ahead of us. I didn't think it'd be before you met your daughter. I didn't think it would be when we were just starting. I didn't think we wouldn't get to grow old together. I didn't think...

I've been thinking about moving. Fresh start, new beginning. Definitely not leaving the past behind, but looking toward a new future. I'm so torn, though. This was our home together. Will I ever feel at home ever again? "Home is whenever I am with you" Lyrics to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' Home. Truer words don't exist. Am I destined to be perpetually homeless?

I want to move to southern California. I want to live in constant sunlight. I want to be warm. I don't want to be too far from the Marine Corps (oddly enough). I've always wanted to live in Southern California. I wanted to go there for college but did not. We did not get stationed there. I did not want to come back from Vegas, I wanted my child and my stuff to meet me out there.

Why not move? Why not just go? Why not just close your eyes and jump?
It's the best time to go. The baby's not in school and can go basically anywhere. I've got a year to use TMO (yeah, that ends in 4 and a half months, decide, Mrs P, decide)
But I leave so much behind. I leave behind my mom and dad. We're so close, would it break her heart? Would it be even harder for me?
I leave behind our one house (did I plan here to live my whole life?) that we lived in. I leave behind the friends that have become family to me (the ones that have stuck around. Definitely my family).

Is the fresh start in a sunshiney place worth it? I don't know. I don't know where I'm supposed to be. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. And I'm fucking terrified. There is absolutely no certainty anymore.

A freakin' sign or something would be nice. One that I can read. Plain and simple.

What We'd Be Doing

I'm in a funk today. I've been in a funk for a few days, actually. I try to shake it off but it creeps up when it wants and there's nothing I can really do about it. I do my best to fight through it but there are days when it gets the best of me, like today.

I can't help but feel utterly alone. I am constantly watching people just walk right out of my life. No warning, just gone. And that is where the insecurity comes from. Not whether or not I look good or am fun but when everyone will eventually leave. They all will, eventually. No one can be there forever, not even the ones who promise.

I find myself thinking about what we'd be doing if you were here. It's Sunday. We'd be watching football. You'd be stoked to know that we get the Pats game today at 4. Would we be home for it? Would we have gone to Hooters or B Dubs to watch? It's fall, we would have our punkins already carved (punkins that I haven't even looked at this year... what's the point?) Yours would be better than mine. It always was. Remember when we did ours last year and I did the little skull with the bow? I cut it too thin so it would barely stay and we had to try to keep it together with toothpicks. You thought it was hilarious, I pouted. Mine rotted super fast too. There were three; yours with the big face, my lil skull and then baby punkin that we didn't cut. Our lil punkin family. What else would we do? Maybe we would have stayed in PJs all day, maybe we would have gotten dressed. Clothes were worn in minimal amounts at our house, you'd have your shirt off even if you had gotten dressed. Unless we were going somewhere chances are I'd be in some form of PJs. Ariana would probably be in PJs too. Would you guys be playing on the floor? Would she look at you and say dada? She would definitely be climbing all over you as you laid on the floor, like she does with me, but you'd be more fun. Maybe we would have gotten a sitter and gone out this weekend. Maybe we would have had a date. Dinner and a movie. Maybe we would have stayed in. After the baby went down, we would have cuddled up on the couch and watched movies and eaten food that we shouldn't. You'd eat a bowl of ice cream, I know it. Maybe we would have gotten in a fight. We would have yelled at each other. Your face would turn red and you'd puff all up as I pushed all the buttons to make you mad. Your nostrils would flare. We would still go to bed together. You wouldn't let me go to bed mad. You'd still tell me how much you love me and I would tell you how much I love you too, even though you're being a jerk (even though chances are I started the fight). In the morning we would have woken up next to each other and everything would be fine. We might even laugh about it. Or we'd apologize. And mean it. Maybe we would have gone to friends' houses. We would laugh and hang out. Kids would play together. Maybe drinks, maybe not. We would go to get your hair cut. And probably do some grocery shopping. The kitchen would actually have food in it and I would actually still cook. We would have dinner and share what we were eating with the baby. We might have even sat at the table as a family. It would have been a good weekend. All the things we could be doing... all the things we would be doing. If only.

And now, I'm here. Without any of those things. Without you. I'm just a piece of a person. You used to pick up my pieces when they fell apart. Now there's no one who can (and who even would want to, anyway) and most of those pieces are missing anyway. I'm the puzzle that's too much blue that's been dropped once or twice so many of the pieces are lost. The puzzle that never fits right together and with all that blue it's too difficult to put together so no one wants to anyway. Wow, rereading that... pity, party of one anyone?

I've just been listening to some Jack's Mannequin today. Man do I love me some Jack's. I should be cleaning and working on Ariana's halloween costume but in this funk I have zero motivation. So I'm sitting here, writing, maybe if I get some of it out I'll feel better. Maybe not. Probably not.

Jack's Mannequin Rescued
Two to one static to the sound of you and I,
Undone for the last time
And there this was
Hiding at the bottom of your swimming pool
Some September
And don't you think I wish that I could stay?
Your lips give you away
I can hear it
A jet engine
Through the center of the storm
And I'm thinking
I'd prefer not to be rescued

Two to none roads that lead away from this
I'm following myself just this once
And I got spun
It appears you're spun as well
It happens when you pay attention
Well, this could take all year
But when it's quiet does she hear me?
A jet is sent to the center of the storm
And I'm thinking I'd prefer not to be rescued

And oh, I can feel her, she's dying just to keep me cool
And I'm finally numb so please don't get me rescued

And it's unclear but this may be my last song
Oh I, I can tell
She's raising hell to give to me
She got me warm
So please don't get me rescued
And oh, say you'll miss me
One last time and I'll be strong
But whatever you do, please don't get me rescued

Because I'm feeling like
I might need to be near you
And I feel alright, so please don't get me rescued.

Camp Pendleton Ladies from BWE and Joanne

Ok, this is a long shot, but it's all I've got.
To the Camp Pendleton ladies I spoke to at Blog World Expo - I am trying to find the Facebook page you were telling me about but am SO lost. So hopefully one of the three of you lovelies will find this and know what I'm talking about and holler back.

And to the commenter Joanne, I would really like to talk with you about your comment, please give me an email or way to contact you.

Emotional Zombism

Ah another "Mrs. P term"
Definition: When you have been so emotionally drained that you become a zombie. You can't really feel your body any more, every part of you is tired and exhausted even though you haven't done anything, well, except cry.

Yesterday was tough. I re-opened some wounds by talking to some people and hearing some stuff about the accident. I learned more about the accident and his injuries. It was so very hard. Even though most the stuff I already knew, there were a few things that were just hard to process. When I got home I felt like I wasn't even real. Like my body would just dissolve at any moment because so much had been sucked out already. Luckily, I've got an amazing nanny/sitter/whatever you want to call her and she stayed the whole day so I could recuperate. I slept for 4 hours. I always completely crash out after emotional times and I'm glad that she was there so that I could do just that. Recharge. I got up around 4 and played with the babes for a little while; I'd felt so bad for being MIA during the day but she was still happy to see me. I started her dinner and then got ready for dance. I wasn't going to not go to my ballet class just because it had been an emotional day, in fact it was more reason to go.

Ballet started at 630 and I am so glad I went. I was messing up quite a bit because my mind was all over the place, but it really was a very healing way to end the day. There is just something about expression through movement that can be so liberating and helpful to an aching heart. I came home feeling even more recharged from dance than I did from the nap, and almost felt back to human again.

Today, I'm feeling ok. I met with B-Squared the Grief Man this morning and have just been chilling out with the babes all day. She is so entertaining. Even when she doesn't want to nap. Now to just get through another day and try to find time to smile every now and then.

Worth Fighting For

"You are the only girl I have ever fought for. Usually, I'd just end it with girls or let them walk out. But, there's something about you, I'm crazy about you. And I don't want to live without you."

Jonny said that to me early on when we were dating. I knew I was falling in love with him and was scared and tried to run. And he didn't let me. He was so incredibly in love with me, and I with him, but I had started to let fear win. He wasn't going to let me go. I'd talked myself out of love, that it wasn't real and that it only hurt and when I knew I was falling again I was so damn terrified that I'd be hurt but he didn't let me take the easy way out, he showed me what true love is. Sometimes, I wished that we hadn't had a rough patch right in the beginning, but I look back and know that we conquered it, that love won out after all and I'm kind of glad I have these words to remember. Because he did; he fought for me. Because I was worth fighting for. Because he was in love with me. Because he knew my fear was stupid and I was better than being scared of love, I was worth loving and I deserved every ounce of love he had to give me. I can't ever let myself forget that. No matter how mad I get at him, no matter how much I question things. He loved me. More than he'd ever loved any human being. And I love him, more than I have ever loved any human being. Our love was intense and it was just so real. I miss that love. I miss being worth fighting for. I miss knowing that I'm the most beautiful and amazing person, at least in one person's world. Most of all, I just miss you, Stink. I will love you forever and ever, babe.

I had to change my ID card today. It sucked a little (ok, a lot). Just another punch of reality. A written piece of "he's gone" to carry around and show to people when necessary. I don't want that reality. I can't pretend it's a dream forever though, can I? Because it's real. Real love, real death. It's all real.

I won't let fear win out this time though, babe. I will not take any easy road out. I will do my best to remember everything (I know I won't be able to remember everything, but I will try) and I will keep your spirit and memory alive. I will not ever question whether our love was real. I will rejoice in the love that we had, and still share, and I will let it make me a stronger person. I will never, ever forget you and I will never, ever stop loving you. Those are promises I can make.


Wrote this on the airplane yesterday but was too cheap to spring for in flight internet so here it is comin' at to you bright and early this morning (for those of us still functioning on Pacific time, anyway...)

Well here I am soaring along in the sky about an hour left until we touch down in Charlotte and then a hop skip and a jump over to JVegas. I was a little sad to be leaving the left side of America today, if my little girl were with me who knows when we would have headed back. There is just something about the west coast that is… I don’t know, happier? Maybe it’s all the sunshine, the good ol’ fashioned UV rays.

I am definitely ready to be off this airplane though. And super ready for hugging my princess tomorrow when she wakes up. I’m going to peak in at her tonight but I won’t wake her up. Man I miss her!

I keep thinking of all the new people I met this week and in meeting new people I tend to think of all the people I’ve met through my short 23 years. It’s really phenomenal how many people you have the opportunity to meet on a day-to-day basis but as busy humans absorbed in our own lives we often miss the chance to reach out to a stranger and meet someone new. I’ve always been one of those “talk to anyone” kind of people. You know, the girl at the grocery store who will turn around and strike up a conversation with the people behind her because the line is taking long and she just feels like talking? Yeah, I’m that girl. So many people come in and out of our lives that we often do not give them a second thought. But lately, I’ve been thinking… every single person you come across serves some purpose in the greater scheme of things. Even the ones you only met for a second, even the ones you think you wish you had never met. They all mean something. There is some connection, plan if you will, that drives people and their spirits and these random connections and pathways we walk in life. Well, that’s one girl’s thought on the matter, anyway. I often find that I harp on people I’ve lost in life. No, not lost like in the sense of losing Jonny (although that is a main thought and focus of mine), I’m talking about those that have walked out or have been pushed away. For some reason, I tend to just mull that over so much, why is that person gone? Why did that relationship end? (I’m not even talking romantic relationship here, I’m talking any relationship between two people) But maybe, just maybe, that’s all part of the way “things are supposed to be” as well. The people who we’ve met who have hurt us or those that we have hurt are all meant to teach us some lesson. One of my greatest struggles is learning to let things go. I just want things to be okay with everyone and no tension, but obviously that’s never going to happen so maybe what I should do is look for the lesson, be glad I had the opportunity to meet and learn from another person, accept it for what it is and be grateful for more opportunities to meet more people. Everyone we meet has got a story and probably something we can learn from them. Even the girl in front of you in the grocery store. So next time you meet someone, even if you believe you’ll never see them again, don’t write them off right away. The world is a funny place and who knows where our lives will lead us and when you’ll be running into that person again. Hell, you just may need them in some future situation.

In other, less philosophical news, one of my favorite things about flying is the Sky Mall magazine. Are any of you familiar with this great mag? I love looking through it. There are just some of the silliest things you will ever find for sale, crazy inventions.
Some of my favorites this trip include Orbit Wheels, which are these rings you wear on your feet and the ad claims they are a combination of skateboard and in line skate. They look completely impossible to do but of course I can not give a fair review as I’ve never tried them.

Then I came across the “Gravity Defyer” shoes. They look like sneakers with some new sneaker technology but I can’t really tell you why they are special because I couldn’t get past the logo. In the magazine there’s a little photo of the shoe with the arrows pointing to what each part means. The logo is a um… tadpole looking… thing… and the arrow pointing to it states, “Slick Seed of Life Logo – because it’s cool.” Seed of life. Looks like a tadpole. Do you find this as hilarious as I did?

Some other interesting Sky Mall finds included The Million Germ Eliminating Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer, The 40 Second Electric Toothbrush (“Four brushes clean teeth in forty seconds”), The 24/7 Self Cleaning Litter Box (this one is entertaining because it looks like a little kitty space ship), and The Mustache Mirror (a mirror with 3 different mustaches so you can test out a new facial hair look every time you glance at your reflection), as well as a plethora of other fascinating inventions, gadgets, and novelties. Ooohhh Sky Mall Mag, thank you for keeping me occupied on what feels to be a 47 hour flight.

Also, I must admit, I did not root for the Ravens. My heart lies with the Pats and without Jonny here to actually bicker back and forth with, I couldn’t help but stick with my Patriots and be pretty stoked when I found out on the airplane (we had to leave to board before the game was over) that Pats took it home in OT with a field goal. Let’s not let this get political, I’m just saying I was pretty happy.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Nerdy Realizations

As I am sitting here in the hotel room with my dad burning a little bit of time before we have to head off to the airport, I am thinking of all I have learned, all that I've done, and the people I've met in Vegas this week. Oh, and watching the Ravens/Pats game (always a challenge for me, Jonny and I are both huge Pats fans but I'm from Maryland and a Ravens fan as well, so Jonny used to take Pats and naturally I'd take the Ravens so that we would have a little competition... I suppose I'll do the same today, knowing my babe is cheering for the Pats up there, although we all know that I'm a Patriots fan first).

It has been one hell of a week. And I mean that in a totally positive way. I've had such a great time and met so many awesome, awesome people. I know I said that before but I just need to reiterate. I am so glad I got a last minute invite and was able to make this conference.

However, there are two things that I realized and am trying to take care of immediately... These are very important things.
Number 1. I need a business card. Even if just says "Yo, I'm Rach AKA Mrs. P. Here's my email" Because there were so many opportunities to win free iPads and my friend was dropping her business card for me and I am hoping she doesn't get flooded with too many random emails but thanks so much!! (even though we didn't win an iPad... insert pout face).
Number 2. Twitter. I used to Tweet and then I deleted it because, well, I update my status nine billion times on facebook. Last night, though, I wished I tweeted so bad. They had a screen with everyone's tweets coming up about the conference. I realized then that I was completely uncool in the greater blogosphere. So, I came back to the room last night and set up a little twitter account and I am, once again, a tweeter. So, follow me. It's RachelMrsP (it was 3am after a night in Vegas, I'm glad it turned out well if not creative... Yikes). Now I need a little "Follow Me" button and a twitter application so I can jump head first into nerd-dom. :-D

Ok, so not the profound realizations you were expecting I'm sure, but hey, I'm in a great mood my last few hours here in Vegas and I just don't want to be serious. I actually quite enjoyed getting to be my goofy, weird, somewhat funny (hysterical to me, anyway bahaha) self last night.
So yes, business cards (for winning iPads) and Twitter (in order to be a cool nerd). Follow me. I'm serious.

Hey... From Vegas

Hey Frans,
I'm writing to you from my room at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, one of my faaaavorite cities in America.
Why the hell are you in Vegas, Mrs. P? You may be wondering.

Well, I got invited to be on a panel at the 2010 Blog World Expo. (Pretty tits, right??)
The Blog World Expo is basically a conference on New and Social Media (blogging, social networks, etc etc). So anyway, the panel I was on was yesterday. It was basically a military spouses panel focusing on how blogging and other forms of new and social media are beneficial to military spouses especially during deployments and points of separation. You can check it out here (be sure to check the other panels from the milblogging track as well, they are all very interesting!)

I am happy to report that I survived the panel discussion, even though I often have severe micro-phobia (that's what I call it, I'm scared of microphones. It all stems from an incident in High School when I was to speak as captain of the JV Soccer team at the pep rally my sophomore year). I was told I did great and I personally feel that I did pretty well. I think that my babe would have been proud and that's what makes me happiest. And dad said he was super proud. Oh yeah, I brought my daddy with me here (while grandma gets to eat up some much needed Ariana time - she's sooo upset with "babysitting"... Not.).

Along with conquering a fear and speaking in front of people, I'm also having a blast. I have met some really awesome people (including panel moderator and co-panelist Cassandra) and made new friends. I have also made new contacts and connections which is always a positive thing. The people here have just been so awesome, especially all of the people on the Military Track of the conference, and I am honored and so grateful to have gotten a chance to meet them all. I have a had a lot of fun so far and have enjoyed smiling just because it feels good. I also conquered my whole fear of going into something and doing something without really knowing anyone. That's another big fear of mine, I hate when I don't know anyone - but I'm doing it, and surviving and thriving. Woo hoo!

Now I'm just relaxing at the hotel room before the conference party this evening. Giving my tootsies a break so that maybe, just maybe, I can wear heels tonight (yikes). Speaking of shoes, man do people in Vegas have such fabulous shoes. Good Lord I love shoes. I often wish I 1. was shorter so I didn't look like a giant in awesome shoes and 2. could wear heels more often without wanting to cut my feet off at the ankle. Practice makes perfect?

I'm also working on my bucket list. Things that I just want to do while I still have this life. It's coming along swimmingly and there are so many things that I want to do and so many things I've actually started working towards completing, so that makes me pretty happy.

Also, I'm surviving the 15th. I woke up with a little bit of "Fifteenth funk" as I have now dubbed it, but I'm getting through. Shaking it off. Head up and march on, right?
O babe, I miss you, love you, and hope you're proud. And even in my moments where you might not be proud or I'm not proud of myself, I'm happy knowing you're looking down and love me still, no matter what.

I think I'm gonna rest up a little bit, time change is still messing with me and by the time I'm used to it I'm going to be home!


Ah, food. My love/hate relationship with the stuff.
As many of my friends know, I've been dieting. I am trying to get rid of this baby weight and be comfortable in my own skin, if even just a little bit, again. I decided to go ahead and try the nutrisystem plan. Cooking for one is one of the most depressing things ever and no matter how I plan it I end up cooking too much and inevitably eating too much or just wasting food. I also HATE the super market. So, I chose a method that means food comes to me in portions created for one. Now I just have to go grocery shopping for little miss and that's not so bad!

So far, I've had pretty good luck with it and have been very satisfied. You do have to buy some foods; produce, proteins, and dairy, just a few things, but not as bad as trying to figure out one-person meals. I've seen results already (I've been on it for a few weeks) and the food is definitely pretty decent. There have been some that I didn't like but the ones I didn't like are much less than the ones I do. It's so much more convenient for me and makes more sense than trying to figure out how to cook for one. When I decided to start eating better and getting back into shape, I looked at all methods and honestly it was the cooking for one and hating shopping that lead me down the nutrisystem path.

But... I'm a big fat cheater. And I need to come here to my outlet to confess and to yell to the great interwebs that I am a lover of bad-for-you foods!!
So, I was doing great. Sticking to it, losing. And then yesterday happened. I was out and about and didn't bring anything to eat with me. I could have made a healthy alternative (they have suggestions for eating out) but man I was craving fast food. Good ol' American fried crap. I know. I know. But, I hit up the Wendy's and enjoyed a delicious chicken club sandwich and fries. Let me tell you, it was sooo good. It was like (I'm going to be completely vulgar here) a big fat O in my mouth. My taste buds smiled and sang glorious hallelujahs. Then today came. And I was doing pretty good again. We were out and about again so I chose Subway (cheated with orange soda - it'd been so long and Lord knows I looove me some orange soda) but it wasn't too, too bad. Then. Well then.... THEN came... THE FAIR. AHHHH!! FAIR FOOD!
Funnel Cake.
Can't read that??

Oh man, was I bad. But ya know what, fall off the horse, pick yourself up, try again. Let your taste buds enjoy some of their favorite bad-for-you foods and get on the diet plan again tomorrow.

So there ya have it, my confession and my true love for crap food. But hey, it's ok, I've made progress and I can handle (physically and emotionally) a couple set backs. Actually, at the beginning of this week I was just about at my pre-pregnancy weight. Woot.

So, uhh, my eating is really all I've got for now. Here's to getting back on that horse tomorrow and back on track!

Adult time

I'm in the market for a nanny. There, I said it. Does it make me a bad mom? No. It means I need a little help and I get a little stir crazy on days when it's just me and Ariana. I do like spending time with her, but sometimes I need adult time, too. If Jonny were here, it'd be different. He'd come home from work and there'd be a grown-up to talk to. Or he could stay at the house with her after work if I had to run to the store real quick (like when I have to run out for smokes) or if I wanted to go to a friend's or to dinner. But he's not here. The reality of the matter is it's just me. No matter how sad or unsad that is, it's the truth. And I need a little help sometimes. So, I've thought about it and I think I would like a nanny. No, I'm not posting this for applications I'm just talking about it because it's what's going on in my life. I think I'll start with a mommy's helper so I can get to know the person and then build a relationship with them where I can leave. I am also hoping to find work. I need something to do and I would really, really like to meet more people.

I did get some adult interaction tonight, however, and it was pretty awesome and very much needed. The lovely blogger Nicole let me know of some ladies time that was going down. I got to meet two other bloggers in real life finally too, as well as some very cool ladies. All in all I had a fun time, Ariana was well behaved at dinner and now she is sleeping away (thank God!) but it's tough because I feel bad getting back after her bed time but on the same account after being by myself, well with her but by myself, all day, I just want to hang out! Hence, the nanny market... wish me luck.

Also, for your added enjoyment, some long over due photos.
Me and my little stink pre-baptism

Jonny on the alter at church. You bet your hiney he was there, in spirit and his body!

Walking back to her seat in her baby wedding dress - lol (and my cute shoes)

What's up Pastor?!

Oh this isn't so bad! Kinda nice actually... hmm...

Some of the ladies at Abbie's birthday I adore this pic because Katie and I look like we're up to no good (probably true...)

Wait... We have to walk a quarter of a mile to run 4? In 97 degree weather? Ugh...

Badass Gold Stars Gone Wild!
Happy (plus a Hurry Up and Wait-er, Lucy)

Have a lovely weekend everyone (I just realized it was Friday about 2.5 hours ago)


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