Saturday, March 31, 2007

Updates and Photos

Well, I'm back to home sweet home after a wonderful week in North Carolina with Jenny and her family and friends! And sunshine!

This next week I'll be moving in to our apartment in town. Took a couple loads of stuff there yesterday, in fact. The nicest part about all this is that I can finally get organized! There's a bigger walk-in closet in the apartment than I have ever had! (Which isn't saying much...but it's nice!)

Andrew's doing really well, too. He's been working lots and also taking the time to brush up on his paralegal studies in order to keep his certification current. Definitely a route we could go after the Army...

It is now time for a photo montage!

This is on the way from one camp to another. Andrew was glad to see more of the city!

Iraqi children wave and ask for food from the nice American Soldiers in the convoy.

Just a little self-portrait for me...

A webcam shot as Andrew held up the Coca-Cola can for me to see.

He had a buddy of his take this of him outside at Camp Corregidor. What a good-lookin' Soldier!

This is me and my dad on my birthday! I look tired. I probably was. Dad's birthday is just 4 days after mine, so we've always been able to celebrate together. Fun!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Loving A Soldier...

Loving a Soldier is a high price to pay;
It's loving him dearly when he's away.

It's being alone with nothing to hold,
It's being young, but feeling old.

It's having him whisper his love for you,
It's whispering back that you love him too.

There comes a kiss and a promise for more,
As his plane slowly rises to soar.

Reluctantly, painfully, letting him go,
While your insides are dying from wanting him so.

Watching him leave, your eyes full of tears,
Standing alone with hopes, dreams and fears.

It's sending a letter with a stamp upside down,
To a far away love in a far away town.

It's going to church and kneeling to pray,
And really meaning the things that you say.

Being in love will foster your dreams,
Of that far away soldier - your mind fairly beams.

Days go by, no mail for a spell,
You wait for some word that all is well.

Then a letter arrives and you rush in,
To open his letter and read with a grin.

Yes he is well and misses you so,
It's filled with love and you wanted to know.

You wait for the day when you have no more fears,
Weeks are like months, and months like years.

Yes, loving a soldier brings sorrows and fears,
Loneliness, sadness, and despondent years.

Loving a Soldier isn't much fun,
But it's worth the price when the battle is won.

And remembering he is thinking of you everyday,
He's sad and he's lonely while so far away.

So love him and miss him and hold your head high,
Be strong and have faith, wipe that tear from your eye.

It's the high price you pay for loving a Soldier.

~Author Unknown~

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Portland To NC, Ramadi to... well, Ramadi

Wow, it's been a long time since I had time to even forward a piece for our blog! Now I am sitting at my desk with some down time and I just wanted to let everyone know that Cassidy made it safe and is enjoying herself with Jenny, her family, and friends. It looks like it's going to be a fun "girls" week.:) It's a little amazing to me that I can sit here in Ramadi, Iraq and my wife can give me progress reports on her trip via text message from her cell phone which then goes to my IM account and which I receive on a wireless connection so fast it makes one's head spin.:) I am so glad I live at this time and not when news had to come by telegram or pony express!

All of that to say Cass and the girls are kicking off a week of fun and laughter even as we speak, uh... talk, hmm... er, well I am typing and you are reading - or I WAS typing and NOW you are reading. Bout time you got here. ;)

As for my trip across the outskirts of Ramadi, it was uneventful. i did take my camera and snapped some pictures. I must admit I was goggly-eyed trying to see as much as possible through my humvee window. Yesterday was the first time I had ever been out and about in Iraq in a vehicle. Coming from Kuwait I flew everywhere and once I arrived at Camp Ramadi, I didn't go outside the wire for two months.

My general impression of the city is that it's very dirty, lots of trash. Most of the children we saw waved at us in a friendly way, but then i noticed a couple who were doing this weird thing where they nearly stuck their finger in their mouths. At first I wondered what kind of rude gesture this was, then it dawned on me that they were pointing to their mouths to ask for food.
That little confusion cleared up, I arrived safely at Corregidor.;)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tuesday Travels

Andrew and I are both leaving on Tuesday. Him first because of the time difference, of course. Andrew got the word today that he would be leaving Camp Ramadi in the morning to his new station, Corregidor. It's a smaller base on the other side of the city. I don't know much about it, but I know Andrew's going there by way of convoy in just a few hours. He'll probably be there for about a month. He'll be replacing a Soldier from his company who's going home on leave in April and joining another MI buddy already out there.

From the sounds of it, this is really a blessing in disguise. At the outpost, Andrew will be so much more free than he is at Camp Ramadi. No more 12 hour shifts mixed in with ridiculous time-filling duties, for example! It sounds like he'll have easy access to the internet as well as satellite phones. Reports he's heard make it sound like a vacation compared to what he's been dealing with day to day. I'm just glad that he'll get a chance to catch up on some sleep!

The only thing is, he has to get there. And I can't help but be worried about the hummvee convoy. Please join me in praying for his safety and the safety of all in the traveling party. Pray that God would give His angels charge concerning their vehicles, and keep them safe on every road.

As for me, I'm flying to North Carolina in the morning with Jenny to spend a week with her family for fun and fellowship and Chandler's first Baby Shower. It'll be a fun vacation and a great escape from the Oregon rain!

Tomorrow night, Andrew's gonna try to call me as soon as he gets where he's going and we'll be able to compare travel notes!

Until next time...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Starbucks... Personalized!

CLICK HERE to visit Starbucks's MySpace and make a wallpaper or icon out of your favorite drink!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pictures of the Day

Andrew sent me these today and I thought you'd all like to see a bit of where he's living.

See the cammo "wall" at the back of the room? That's the cover Andrew draped over his set of bunkbeds to give himself his own personal corner space. Yes, the wall art is in his space. No, it was there when he arrived.

And here's his private "castle" in the barracks. Storage up top and underneath, sleeping on the bottom bunk, black trunk for food, new computer on the bed, uniforms hanging on nails, rifle standing in the corner, all that normal stuff...

And the photographer... my hero!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My First Birthday Greeting...

...came from my own sweetheart and best friend in life, Andrew. He wished me Happy Birthday because it was officially March 8th in Ramadi. (I got a longer birthday that way!) We had a wonderful iChat conversation where I got to see him clearer than ever! We were both so surprised that we took a screenshot of what it actually looked like to us. See?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Just An Ordinary Day

I've suddenly remembered that I had a different plan for this blog. I didn't want to post only when something happened - although blog-worthy things do happen all the time! - but also just when I'm here and Andrew's there and life is going on and days get long as we anxiously await his...hmmm...shall we say Second Coming?

Yes. Spiritual analogies abound. I am the bride waiting for my bridegroom. And, thanks to the Army, we're never sure of the day or hour!

Today is an ordinary Wednesday which begins with the arrival of Seth's piano students and then our prompt departure to Mom's Bible Study. (By the way, CLICK HERE to check out her study's blog!)

It's 8:40pm tonight for Andrew. He's at work, or maybe on his random hour-long guard duty, or maybe at the gym on a break, or maybe at the DFAC getting chow. Anything to make the day interesting! On guard duty he has time to pull out his laptop and write emails, stories, insights, and the beginnings of his book thanks to his new computer. The one enemy of the MacBook is the frequent dust storms of which he must beware. We'll get him some canned air in the next box!

Tomorrow is my birthday. And I'll have you know it's my last. I turn 29 and that's just enough.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's Been A Big Week!

Wow. I'm still kinda reeling from all that has gone on such a short time! To begin with, we bought a car. Or, rather, we bit the bullet and started making payments on one. It's a 2003 Nissan Murano - gold. It's a really hot crossover SUV and we are so pleased with the great deal we were given. (Pictures soon to come.)

Second, I went to my favorite salon as a Valentine's Day gift from Andrew and I had my hair highlighted for the first time! Yeah, real highlights in a caramelly color. It's very nice. And it was fun!

Third and best, Andrew received his new MacBook in fine condition. I'd bought it and shipped it to him a week earlier and we prayed for its entire journey. It got to Andrew with no problems and he's been so glad to have something to write on again! Yeah, yeah, he did well with pen and paper, but his typing is so much faster. : ) The reason for the new computer was several-fold: 1) The one we readied and sent with him promptly crashed for no apparent reason. Old age is a possibility. 2) For Andrew to keep up his writing (and a secret desire to write a book!) 3) So we could chat via messenger and even webcam! (Which is the most wonderful of reasons to me.)

As soon as he got it, he worked to get himself hooked up in his barracks and I was surprised late last night with a face-to-face conversation with my brave hubby! It was the first time I'd seen him since he left and praise the Lord He knew how long I could last! I couldn't stop the tears from flowing and even dripping off my nose as I smiled and talked to him and looked at him and just enjoyed being almost WITH him. I just looked and looked at his eyes, his smile, his short buzzed hair, and his huge muscles from going to the gym on an average of twice a day!

Here's a still shot that Andrew took of himself when he first got the computer and was on the phone with me. Yep, that's my baby! No, it's not nearly this clear with the webcam because of the limited bandwidth issues, but every so often it suddenly clears up and I feel like I could touch him!

We had a date to meet online about an hour ago, and we chatted for a little bit but the webcam never connected and then he was thrown offline entirely. I've written this post as I patiently wait for him to come back on. It seems like such a good thing and yet it's never quite sure that it'll work out from time to time. God never allows us to stop trusting Him for everything!
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