We were only a couple of weeks in to our most recent deployment and Murphy had reared his ugly head too many times to even want to remember! The last in our unfortunate incidences, the TV. One of my three wonderful children decided to take it out (with something apparently hard and sharp). This of course was realized once they were all tucked away snugly in bed. So me being the optimist that I strive to be, start looking for the silver lining in this extremely gray cloud! My husband has been wanting a BIG TV. We currently have a 42” and I have stood ground refusing anything bigger! Our TV is fine I have told him on several occasions and our definitions of bigger are totally different. I saw the lust in his eyes for the monstrous 60” TV displayed front and center of the many walking isles at the NEX. So in a moment of pure genius I decided to venture out the next morning in search of a new TV, best thing is it can get bigger without having to watch Dora and Bubble Guppies like we are at the movie theater! I left my house keeping in mind a few rules of TV purchasing for my husband: it must be BIG, it must be LG and it must not be a plasma! I arrive at the NEX around 0930, walk directly to the TV section find pretty much what I am looking for, call the sales associate over to ask a couple of questions. I have two TV’s that I can choose from that fit the requirements; last years model and this years model. I decide that I will fork out the extra cash and get this years model. I purchase the TV, drive over and pick it up. I get home relax for a minute then reluctantly drag the TV from the car to the house (and yes, I literally drug the TV). With a little elbow grease and a few colorful “words” the TV is up and installed; working beautifully. I look at the clock and the time is 1045. Ummmm… yes, you read that right. In 1 hour and 15 minutes I had purchased, picked up, uninstalled the old TV and installed the new TV. This is something that all inclusive would have taken hours or even days if my husband had been present (I know I can’t be alone here!). It would have been all day just choosing the perfect TV and that TV would have been way to big which would have required a new TV stand. You all know how that goes. So the lesson I learned is that TV shopping with out my husband is the only way to go! He got a “bigger” TV, it is an LG and it is not plasma! And I get to keep my entertainment center that I love! Another plus, and this is for him: he never has to listen to me talk bad about the TV, because I bought it all on my own! It is really a win, win for everybody! Except the kids who are currently on cleaning duty as punishment!
Thanksgiving was very bittersweet this year. The man in blue’s schedule has been erratic as of late. He We, however, were very fortunate that he was able to be home for the holiday, but for a few days only. Sadly, he left again all too soon. Here I type wishing he were still here by me. Still, I am appreciative because he was not due to be here at all, not even for a split second.
I should mention that today is also bittersweet in and of itself for me. Yes, he left, and that saddens me. However, *sigh* today marks the 12th anniversary of our first time meeting, but I digress. (Don’t worry I’ll bore excite you in December with our first date details).
Anyway…I am so grateful that we were able to cook together, play games together and tuck our children in at night together, for a few days. It is such a rare thing, and we will take what we can get. I am thankful for his diligence in picking out a Christmas tree very early for us so we could decorate it together as a family before he left. I am even thankful for his helping out with a huge project I have going on for a military support organization – he still gave his time even though he was home for a short spell. On top of it all, I am also grateful for the job that takes him away from us all too often. Silly though that may sound, it’s true. Most of you can relate, I’m sure.
We appreciate the sense of a secure job that puts food on our tables and pays the bills. Sure, there are times we dislike things about the military, probably a lot of times, but it’s really all about perspective. When I look at the grand picture before me, including the uncertainties facing my civilian counterparts in my family and friend circles, I realize how truly blessed we are. At least for now anyway. Yes, there are many scary topics looming on the horizon that have me nervous and anxious about what if’s and what-may-comes, but for now I will remain grateful.
In my all-time favorite Christmas movie, General Waverly states, “”If there’s one thing I learned in the Army, it’s to always be positive… especially when you have no idea what you are talking about.” So, since life is full of unknowns, especially the military side of life, I will do my best to remain positive and try and focus on the little happy moments and be grateful for what I can.
I hope you all too enjoyed many moments of happiness, grace, and thankfulness this week. Oh, and one last thing, I am thankful to be here as a part of the MyMilitaryLife family – thank you Wendy and all the bloggers for having me.
USS New Mexico on sea trials
The commissioning date has finally been set and will be March 27, 2010. I am planning on attending and I’m so very excited! I have never been to a commissioning before and I can’t wait.
In my research of what to expect, I came across this video of the USS New Hampshire being commissioned.
Even though New Mexico has two other submarines, for some reason I am very excited about this new submarine. Maybe it is because it is called “New Mexico”, vs Albuquerque or Santa Fe. I’m seriously considering adopting this boat. Maybe it has something to do with the galley being called “La Posta”, a local favorite in Las Cruces.
La Posta owner Tom Hutchinson said the naming of the galley after his restaurant has “extra special significance” because he served in the Navy from 1977 to 2002. Nine of those years were in active duty. His service was as an aviator, and he worked with Navy submarines to coordinate the tracking of Soviet Union submarines.
Hutchinson said he plans to name a room in his restaurant after the sub. read the entire article.
Future USS New Mexico Completes Sea Trials
WASHINGTON (NNS) — Pre-Commissioning Unit New Mexico (SSN 779), the U.S. Navy’s newest submarine, successfully completed its initial sea trials, or Alpha Trials, Nov. 26.
The submarine departed Newport News, Va., Nov. 24 to evaluate its seaworthiness and operational performance. New Mexico’s Alpha Trials included diving to test depth, executing an emergency surfacing, and testing the ship’s propulsion plant performance.
Successful completion of these sea trials is a significant step towards ensuring that New Mexico meets all specifications and is ready for delivery to the Navy, which is anticipated by the end of 2009, following completion of Bravo Sea Trials and the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey trials.
“New Mexico’s successful completion of sea trials is a testament to the hard work of the Navy’s shipbuilding team,” said Capt. Michael Jabaley, Virginia Class program manager. “It is this partnership that has helped get New Mexico to where it is today, ahead of original contract schedule.”
New Mexico is the sixth submarine of the Virginia Class and third that Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding will deliver. Delivery of the ship prior to the end of the year would be four months early to its contract delivery date.
When commissioned in early 2010, New Mexico will join the five subs of its class as flexible, multi-mission platforms designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the Submarine Force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; special operations forces; strike; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.
Valentine’s day is one of those special days that you really want to share with your spouse!! But for some of us, our spouses are deployed, TAD, or a Geo-bachelor and are a way from us. But don’t fret!! You can still share this holiday with your spouse or significant other.
Send a care package!!! This is one of the best times of the year to go all out and do a themed care package. Below are some ideas to get you started, and don’t worry if it arrives a little late. Remember it’s the thought that counts!
10 Valentine’s Day Care Package Ideas:
1. Take an ordinary pillow case and get some iron on photo transfer paper and print out some photos of you and the family! Add some perfume or your Sailor/Soldier’s favorite scent and pack it in a Ziploc bag to preserve the smell. It’s an instant visual and scent memory of home. You can iron on the pictures on the inside of the pillow case if you’re worried about the command wanting the racks to look uniform.
2. Take some handkerchiefs and iron on pictures to them, or have the kids make hand prints or paint pictures on them with fabric paint. Your sailor/soldier can carry these around in his pocket, something he doesn’t have to worry about incase it gets wet or something! You can also send these in a Ziploc bag with a scent on it.
3. Of course candy, cookies, chips, cracker, cake snacks, etc!! Just beware of items possibly melting or spending a long time in a holding area before getting to the Sailor/Soldier.
4. Make a mixed CD or thumb drive (if they have their own computer), remember in school how you made your own mixed Tape or CD of your favorite songs (is that still big, lol. I’m starting to feel old and I only graduated 9 years ago). Make a theme of love songs and songs that you two as a couple liked to listen too. I used to draw silly pictures on my tapes and CDs to personalize it!
5. Send little toys and trinkets that represent Valentines Day! Everyone still loves to play with toys, come on you know it!! Send stuff that can put a smile on their face and that they can share with others.
6. Don’t forget Cards and letters, in today’s email crazy time a good handwritten letter can mean so much. And if you send one it is like a ‘wink and nudge’ to your spouse and you may get a handwritten letter back (note: you may actually have to spell it out in your letter that you want a hand written response…. Some guys just need the ‘wink and nudge’ explained to them. LOL).
7. Make a list of why you love your spouse, or what makes you smile about them.
8. If you have time find a place that can put images on insulated coffee cups, and have it personalized in addition to the picture.
9. Send something that is specific to what your spouse likes, for example a PSP Game, or a New CD from his favorite artist
10. And last of all instead of using packing material to make the box secure inside use socks, boxers, and t-shirts to make the box tight (take them out of the packaging and use a pair or two to pack, its ok if you don’t use a whole pack just set the rest aside for the next package you send). No matter where your sailor/soldier is deployed they can always use new CLEAN socks, boxers/underwear, and t-shirts.
I hope that his has gotten you started!! Please share your additional Ideas!!
We are looking at options; options for the future.
So there is a possibility that if you go this route, you may never get underway….again? I asked my beloved.
Well, possibly, he replied.
I mulled this over. On the surface it sounded spectacular and many a wife would gladly hear those words. Still, I know, in my heart, that he loves being at sea. When we started dating, I will admit, I fell in love with the romantic notion that he’d go out to sea, and I’d wait lovingly until he returned. It wasn’t forever, I told myself, and always been an independent woman. I could do this. I would do this. I’ve been doing this.
I knew from our first date that I wanted to spend eternity with this man. I felt like Brandy, watching his eyes and listening to his stories of riding the ocean waves. I could feel the power of the storms and smell the salt of the water. While I knew he’d always be in my heart, I knew also that he had a passion for the great deep blue. I never thought he’d choose it over me, but I know he has always been drawn to it, and I respect that. In turns he respects me and always discusses a new billet with me before jumping in head first (that’s if he has a choice). In a way, I think it’s his way of reassuring himself that I’m okay with this life. I’m sure he struggles with it. Who wouldn’t? You love being at sea, but you love your family waiting at home too.
So, what’s a girl to say? A teeny tiny part of me wants to say “Yes, stay ashore. Be home to watch the kids grow.” Still, I’m a believe in allowing him to make his own career decisions (without too much nagging from me). We talk about the family first. Obviously, with children and school and housing matters, family often throws a wrench in the mix. Still, after we talk about ideal places for our family. I let him go from there. I can work almost anywhere so that doesn’t concern me. So, I encourage him to think about his career advancement and getting the most out of educational and training opportunities. I want him to look back on his Coast Guard years and feel satisfied.
Why is this so important to me? Well, I’m glad you asked. When I was in the service, I didn’t take advantage of a few opportunities that came my way. I felt I was young and had all the time in the world. In addition, I never envisioned getting out as soon as I did. I had my goals set on a 20 year career, at least. So, I have a few regrets. I wish I had taken that overseas tour. I wish I had gone to that school in D.C. I should have completed my Bachelors when I was still active. I could go on and on. Still, I did get to experience a lot of great things and establish some solid connections, and for that I’m grateful that I wasn’t a complete dunce.
Back on topic though, I don’t want my husband to look back with remorse over things in the years to come. So, what do you say to your husband when he’s asking you about no more sea duty? Well, I told him, I support whatever decision you make. Either way, the future looks pretty bright, no matter what route he chooses. I just wish I had a crystal ball to show me what the ultimate decision will be. Until then, I’ll hand over the looking glass for him to have a tête à tête about which road to travel.
So, what does a landlocked sailor do? I’ll let you know if and when I find out. :)~