The Deployment Diary

Friday, January 06, 2006

A New Year, a New Direction

and a new blog.

I've decided not to continue The Deployment Diary. My hope is, in the coming year, I won't need to come back to it. That all depends on the Army of course and the decisions husband makes later on in 2006. If he deploys, I'll be back writing about the deployment and all that entails. If he decides to retire, he'll drop his retirement paperwork in the ending months of 2006 and retire in 2007. If he decides to stay in, he'll start looking for a job at a few of the posts we'd be interested in moving to and hopefully retire in 2010. He's on the fence right now and since he's locked into this job for another two years, he has plenty of time to weigh his options.

As for Me...
I've been on my own fence of sorts, weighing options and ideas. For several months I've been considering redoing a website I used to have and get back to doing something that I used to enjoy.

Last month though, Sue at Turning 30 and a half wrote about a yearly writing challenge known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge is, between November 1st through November 30th, participants write a novel. To meet the challenge, they must have 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th. I believe the objective is to just get people writing. Quantity, not focus on getting something on paper. Taking that first step that often is the hardest - I know that first step is the hardest for me.

I've always dreamed of becoming a professional writer, whether it be writing books or articles in magazines and newspapers. One of the best feelings in the world is to write something that touches get an email saying that what you wrote moved them to tears or put into words feelings they also have.

I've had 10 or so articles published in the past, but nothing since 2004. And, the article in 2004 wasn't something I submitted, but an article I wrote for my old website that an Army newspaper wanted to reprint in their Alaska paper. In other words, just a chance search brought the gentleman to email me for permission.

I thought really hard about signing up and trying to meet the NaNoWriMo challenge. When November 1st rolled around though, I simply chickened out. A dream is a dream until you work to make it a reality. If I started trying to write a novel, even one that focused more on quantity than quality, failure would end a dream I've had as long as I can remember. I couldn't seem to overcome the fear of that thought - so I didn't even try.

This did put me on a path of some soul searching though. Not long after Sue's entry discussing NaNoWriMo, she linked to writing classes that she was taking. I thought, now that is something I could do! I also started searching out websites that focus on writing and bookmarked other sites that accept submissions for online publication.

So, I'm going to start a new blog. I've not decided on a name yet, but it'll focus on things I'm interested in such as politics, my family and writing. I'll probably start it in the next week or so. If you're interested in following me to the new blog, give me an email at thedeploymentdiary - at - Once I have the blog ready, I'll email you the link.

Thank you so much for reading, for leaving comments here and there - and for the emails over the past 23 months. I really appreciate the support and kindness and I hope 2006 is a great year for everyone!

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

New AC Adapter Arrives

My new AC Adapter arrived this morning around 11. One four legged baby leaving one little tooth mark on the old one seems to have shorted it out completely. Thank goodness it didn't take Dell as long as I was told it would take to get it here. When I ordered it Tuesday morning, the lady said it'd be here by the 9th, six days later. Instead, it arrived in just two days.


It wasn't any fun being without my computer. No AC Adapter plus the battery being drained completely equals one bored lady lol.

So, I'm back - and ready to get to work on my New Year's goals! More on that later though...

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Death of the AC Adapter

This morning started early. Have I mentioned that I'm so not a morning person? Ughh. I detest mornings.

Husband is back to working full days, which means his typical long hours. Little guy and I dropped daughter off at school this morning and our regularly-scheduled-life-after-the-holidays officially began, darnit. I've really been dreading this. It's been so wonderful having daughter and husband home with us.

This morning my laptop's AC adapter stopped working. My battery is now just about dead. I've ordered another and Dell said it'd be here by the 9th. So, until then...

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Usually on New Years Eve, husband and I will find a movie on TV to watch and end up asleep before the ball drops in New York. I think the last time we did anything other than that on New Years Eve was 1994 lol. This year though, we decided to have some friends over.

A friend of husband's at work and his wife came out. My friend, her husband (who also works with husband and his buddy) and their two children came out too. We had lots of food and a few drinks - and we had a great time.

Husband's friend brought the game Texas Hold 'Em. He and his wife taught us all how to play, which was a lot of fun. We played that until midnight. Around 11 pm, we all were yawning though. You could really tell we were not a bunch of young party goers lol.

It was a really fun evening and everyone will be back out for Superbowl Sunday. And, I can't wait! We had a wonderful start to 2006 and I hope you all did too! Happy New Year!

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Very Merry Christmas

Last year's Christmas had a rather large dark cloud hanging over it. Just a few weeks before, we found out his unit was already slotted to head back to Iraq even though they'd just returned from a year tour four months prior. I felt like we'd barely gotten him home when worrying about the upcoming deployment began.

I was so thankful to have him home for the holidays, but the Christmas without him the year before still felt so fresh. Knowing he'd be gone for the next Christmas made even the tiniest detail bittersweet.

God truly blessed us this year, though. He wasn't deployed and we were able to spend Christmas together. The only rule? NO extended family were invited ;). It was just the four of us and it was absolutely the best Christmas we've had since leaving Alaska. We were able to enjoy a stress-free, no extended family drama, Christmas. It could not have been any more perfect.

He didn't take leave this year. He wanted to save it in case he does decide to retire. With the half-day schedule and four day long weekends, we've been able to spend so much time together, which has been the best gift I've ever received.

Christmas morning was magical. Being together to see our two little ones' faces light up when they saw Santa had been here. Daughter showing little guy the empty plate of cookies, the empty glass of milk and then reading the thank you note from Santa to just doesn't get any better than that.

Santa brought little guy a battery powered four-wheeler and daughter a keyboard. They received lots of other gifts from Santa, but those were the big ones. Daughter and little guy have had the best time riding that four-wheeler. Husband and I have had just as great a time watching the fearless duo. The keyboard has seen some action as well, but its appeal wears off quickly for Mom who must listen to the artists' budding creativity ;). It could be worse though. Santa could have brought drums lol!

As I sit here tonight with our children safely tucked in bed upstairs, husband sleeping in his new cushy recliner next to me, our big dog sleeping on her dog pillow in front of the TV, fluffy cat sleeping soundly on the couch, the wild cat sleeping with our little guy upstairs and the Christmas tree still sparkling for a few more nights, I cannot help but to pause once again and thank God. Thank Him for not only allowing us to spend this Christmas season together as a family, but also for blessing me with a happy, loving and special marriage to a wonderful man, two beautiful, smart and loving children and our four legged family members. We have such a happy, loving home - and it is everything and more than I dreamed and wished for as a child.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. May your New Year be filled with love, laughter and much happiness.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

A Heartbreaking Job

Just the thought of seeing two soldiers in Class A's or dress blues standing on my front porch frightens me enough to make my heart race. While my husband was deployed, the doorbell ringing unexpectedly would scare me so badly. After talking with whoever was there, I'd often cry just from the sheer relief that it wasn't a casualty notification team.

Due to the fear as the wife of a soldier, I've never really considered those who are tasked with informing the families of our fallen heroes. After stopping by Sgt Lori's blog and following the link from this entry though, that's all changed. I now feel that some of the unsung heroes of the War on Terrorism are those who inform families when their loved ones have been killed.

Time Magazine's photo essay, "Honor After the Fall" gives us a glance into the emotions of the families and the officer who must inform them.

Rocky Mountain News special report, Final Salute, takes readers behind the scenes and shares an in-depth view of what families go through and what one casualty notification officer, MAJ Beck, endures. In one telling example, MAJ Beck sits outside of a family's home just a little longer. He knows that once he knocks on their door, that family's lives will never be the same.

Final Salute is a long series with twelve pages in all, but it is well worth the time it takes to read it. An emotional account of both sides of a heartbreaking experience - the person who must notify the family and the families who must face a future without someone they love.

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Cindy Sheehan in Vanity Fair

Truthfully, had I not seen the Vanity Fair photo of Sheehan laying on her son's grave, I would not have believed it. It is one of the sickest things I've ever seen.

Sweetness & Light has the photo and quite a few comments that are worth reading through. Two in particular struck me. One, the fact that her son is in an unmarked grave. I cannot believe there is not a headstone on this hero's grave. Two, that she met with a spokesperson for Muqtada al-Sadr - the leader of the VERY group of insurgents who killed her son and seven other soldiers on April 4th, 2004.

She is a not just a nutcase, she's a disgusting individual.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tookie Williams Vigil...

I ran across this coverage of the idiots holding a vigil outside San Quentin for the murdering gang founder sentenced to death.

It sure takes all kinds - even a group singing an orgasm song of all things. Proof positive most protesters are fruitcakes who are a few bricks short of a load.

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