Monday, August 2, 2010

Going loco!

It's been a week since my last email, and in a few days we'll be together and I'll be living with him for good! But I'm hurting and lost and confused and going crazy without hearing from him! So ladies, I'm sure you can all sympathize with me there. I dunno how exactly to put this in few words, so I'll explain it. You'll understand.

Ever feel like... There just isn't a such thing as a significant other when he's away and you haven't heard from him so long? Like you're alone, yet you aren't looking to be with anyone. That spot in your life has just become a blank. You go through everyday life. You don't have a man to text or kiss or anything. Yet it's not like you're out there looking or interested. It's just how it is and that's the way your lifestyle has become. It doesn't mean you don't love or miss your service member, just means you've adapted to him being away.

When you're feeling the lack of any significant other, your self esteem is low, you're lonely, etc... There seems to be no easy solution. I hate this feeling, because the only thing that would make it vanish would be to hear from him, see him, hold him... So I generally tend to mope. I check the email every 5 minutes. Hoping that I have something from him. Anything at all. And when I don't, my heart drops again and all the sadness comes back. So, as girlfriends, fiances, wives, of these servicemen, what do we do? How to we persevere?

Make a damn scrapbook!

OK, so this might not be the solution for everyone. But it definitely helped me and I am so damn proud of that thing. Patrick's one year anniversary for leaving for bootcamp and starting his military career is in 2 days. He ports shortly after (Sorry ladies, can't release an exact date!) and I've decided to give this to him as a gift. It's a scrapbook of the last year of our lives when we were together. I started with some pictures of us as best friends from before we were dating, then went on through each visit in order. Just a hint for you ladies who are interested, if you develop more than 100 pictures at walmart, they're only .15 each! That comes to $15 for 100 pictures! What I did, was print 100 pictures, then put them all in the scrapbook in order and then wrote a note about each picture underneath each of them. When I finished that, I printed 100 more pictures! And altogether the bill came to $15 + $15 = $30 for the all of our favorite pictures! * If you're unsure of which of the machines to use at Walmart to develop them, make sure you ask behind the counter which one is .15 for over 100 pictures. I got kinda screwed over once by using the wrong machine! * Then after placing the last 100 pictures and titling them, I started decorating. I got post-it thingies to mark which visit was which. I got scrapbooking stickers very cheap at walmart just of letters and I wrote quotes and little lyrics and cute things all over it. I also added in all of his letters from bootcamp, all of our movie tickets and plane tickets... Everything... I'm so very proud of it and I look through it ALL the time :)

It helped me to picture my sailor and I together, even though he's very far away right now. It helped me cope with not being able to talk with him for as long as it's been. It'll mean alot to him, although not as much as it meant to me. Although I still feel a big empty spot since he's been gone, I'm ok. I know what I'm fighting for. Ladies, find something fun to do that has to do with you and your man. A present, if you will, for when he returns. It'll help you while he's away, and it'll make him feel loved and appreciated and as though you thought alot of him while he was away... Which, we always do. They just don't realize exactly HOW much sometimes!

So ladies, when you start to feel that empty spot, that blank in your everyday life, do something fun like a craft or collection to fill it up! Be proud of yourselves. You're hanging in there and your mind and heart is slipping into all the survival modes that civilian girlfriends, fiances and wives generally never have to experience. It's going to be hard, but no one can understand you better than the other girls experiencing the same thing. Stay strong, don't let ANYTHING get you down and always be prepared for your mind and heart to throw a wrench at you! You've got the power to do it all because love is driving you. Real, pure love. That will NEVER fail you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is this normal?

Ever realize that he hasn't been on your mind nonstop lately, but you have no idea why? It's like everything else going on (which is alot) has just completely taken over. Your trying your hardest to just get all of the things that need to be done, done. And then when you sit down and relax for the first time all day, you think, holy shit, I have a significant other who is underway/deployed/not here.

So, I started packing about a week and a half ago to move to Virginia to stay with Patrick in his apartment for 3 weeks before I move into my dorm, which is only a few minutes from his apartment. So basically, I've gotta pack EVERYTHING by next week and have it all in my car and ready to go! This is alot to handle when I've lived here my whole life and never had to pack for more than a week and a half. Last weekend my family and I went to Virginia for my college orientation and it was extremely hard being there without him. I was sad, yet very excited to be living there! I got home, and immediately put my nose to the grindstone! I wanted to be ready to move in ONE WEEK!

So, I finally got through packing all of my clothes and sorting which ones to take and which ones to leave here. Surpringly I have only 5 baskets of clothes (smaller baskets) and half a basket of delicates! I sat down with a water on my bed and looked beside me when I sat it down, and saw a picture of my love and I thought WOW, that's crazy. Why haven't I been thinking about him?

This isn't the first time I've realized it. I've realized it many times. It's weird and even I don't completely understand it. It's not a negative thing. Just a coping thing I believe. Ever since I got the exact date for me moving, it's been hard to think of him as much as I usually do. My mind is just a million other places and I can't think about him. It's not that I don't want to, cause oh trust me, I love thinking of my sailor. Even when it results in crying because I miss him so bad.

Well ladies, if you're experiencing this, be thankful for the time-being! I'm not saying this to tell you that you should be happy he isn't on your mind, but I must also say, it's been a ton easier to pack and to get all of my shit together. It definitely won't last and I can almost guarantee that the day before I make that long ass drive, I'll be bouncing off the walls thinking of him. Right now I'm just focused on HOW to make it all happen so I can be there with him!

So, don't fret if you're feeling this way. It doesn't mean you love your man any less, because I sure don't! It just means that your mind is going into "survivor" mode and it's only thinking of the things it needs to get through the day. At the moment, it's hard for me to imagine his voice or his face, or his kiss or his touch. One good thing about that though, I also feel sorta like a giddy little teenager about to go on a blind date! I can hardly imagine what it's like to be with him, so when I finally am, it'll be amazing!

Girls, if you're feeling like this, go with the flow! Get your things done and don't worry so much. So long as you're not thinking of him, versus thinking BAD thoughts or questioning thoughts of him, this is sorta a little break for your mind so you can accomplish stuff. Like I said, it won't last long. And you might be worried cause you feel alot of distance with this when you do actually sit down to relax and the thoughts hit you.

You love him, and he loves you. He's got to focus on his job alot too, remember that! Let your mind wander wherever it wanders, and never question it! Keep your chins up girls and as Patrick and his family said in his last email...
"No matter what, what do Dangrow's always do?" That's what my grandpa always said. And we always replied, "We keep our heads held high and don't sweat the small stuff. And it's all small stuff."

Replace Dangrow's with Military girlfriends, and replace That's what my grandpa always said with That's what we ask ourselves. And live by this quote... Because it's completely true... Hang in there girls and from the words of my sailor and his family, don't sweat the small stuff.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Your contract

Your love has signed a contract with the United States military. It's full of specifications and rules - all that jazz. There's no way around it once they've signed it.

You have also signed a contract, except for without a pen and paper.

When you are in love with a military man, and you tell him you love him and are here for him, you've made a choice. You have agreed to stay faithful, you have agreed to be his support system, you have agreed to never let go, no matter how hard it gets. Imagine this - Your man has signed an unbreakable contract. Then, he's also signed the unwritten contract with you. He's got two things that his heart must be put into. You only truly have one contract. And when he starts to have a hard time holding onto both of his duties, he's bound to slip up here and there. He's bound to get frustrated or angry. He's bound to make you upset with him. You just need to remember what you've signed yourself into. You love this man, the same way he loves his country. You serve him as he serves his country. There is no other choice. You do all you can possibly do, and you never give up.

As for loyalty, what is the point in cheating ladies? Honestly? Ever kissed a guy (in the past) where there was no connection? It felt like lips-on-lips and no *spark*? That's not a kiss. That's a body motion. A body motion that will ruin your whole relationship. Fill you with guilt (if you're a decent person at all) and then hurt him when he finds out - which he will somehow. There's no point in giving up a long happy life with your love for some stupid physical action that means jack shit. Hang in there ladies, even when you're craving a kiss or even a bit more. Because it'll make the next time you're with your man even more wonderful.

When he's sick, tired, angry, frustrated, annoyed, pissy, male PMSing, you have to be the tough one. He's got alot going on even if it doesn't seem like it. You're his support system and his strength really. Having a loving and wonderful girl back home makes the difference sometimes between whether he has that extra PUSH in the time of need.

There's no other option when you truly love your man. They don't usually or always like what they're doing. Sometimes they just wanna quit and go home. But they can't. They have too much loyalty, love and dedication for that. Plus they remember their duty. You have to have the same attitude if you want to make it through this.

You signed it ladies, now it's time to fulfill it for as long as you shall live.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ever feel as though you're in love with a serviceman, telephone & a computer?

I don't know about anyone else, but ever since I heard my phone ringing on Christmas morning from the back of the Christmas tree, I've been attached. It became part of my clothing and without it I felt naked. My mom used to complain about the number of texts a month, my dad would complain about paying for unlimited texting, my grandparents didn't like that I'd text at the dinner table. I felt absolutely lost whenever I forgot my phone in my room or on the table when I left a room. As if I was waiting for a call from some millionaire offering to give me all his money and tell me I'd won some wonderful contest that I hadn't even entered. I thought I was attached then... Little did I know...

My future held a military man.

My phone has become a body part versus a piece of clothing. I don't sleep without it on loud, right next to the bed. I don't go leave a room without it. I don't "silence" it during movies, I just put it on vibrate and hold it in my hand the whole time. I don't leave it in the car when I go in restaurants. I don't go to the bathroom without it. I don't shower without it AND a towel sitting right outside in the case of an unexpected phone call. That phone is ALWAYS with me, no matter where I go. Because as all military girls know, missing a phone call (generally not a text) will destroy your life until you get another call. Which can sometimes be weeks, or months. Not only has the phone become part of me, but the computer has as well. Since it's not as mobile as a phone obviously, I've set up about every single reminder on the computer to send an alert to my phone. Currently, I can't figure out how the hell to do that for my email so it doesn't do me any good there. But I religiously check my email incase I've received something. As if I'll write back and he'll still be sitting there? Yeah right. Submariners aren't that lucky. Internet connection SUCKS and your emails hardly transmit in the first place.

Ever have a friend invite you out on a day you assume you might "possibly" be getting a call? You make up a lame excuse why you can't go or you make sure you're driving separate just incase he calls and has some time, so you can high-tail your ass home and talk to him privately for as long as you want without your friends complaining that while you're all out having a good time, you spend half an hour on the phone with your man. Not to mention, that is the most annoying thing in the world when all your friends are sitting there watching you talk on the phone either a.) watch you with an irritated look on their face or b.) are all giggling and talking really loud amungst each other because they have NO idea how important this is, when this is honestly the only contact you've had with the love of your life in... how long?

This blog isn't necessarily for any advice, because what advice is there to give on this one? I'm not gonna tell you "Leave your phone at home for a whole day and go out and have a good time with your girlies! You need some time away from your technology!" Because that is ridiculous. If I told you that, and you took that advice, then came home at the end of a wonderful day with your friends, and saw a missed call from your sweetheart, your whole week, month, whatever will be ruined. And so will his. Sadly, us military girls have to be attached to our phones and computers. And they will always come as our first priority because they are our only connection to our loved ones, and generally it's only a small window of opportunity that's open for communication. Hell, if you leave your phone on your bed or table, take a trip to the bathroom and stop for a drink in the fridge on your way back, that small window of opportunity could have came and passed.

But, since I HAVE to give some sort of advice, I'll give some on how to avoid those "nights out with the girlies" interrupting or ruining your phone call with your hubby.

First off, if they're your "girlies" they should probably understand how important this to you. I mean obviously they can't quite understand the magnititude of it, because they probably haven't ever based their mood and will-power for weeks or months off of a 30 second phone call, or the heavenly luxury of a HALF AN HOUR phone call... Unless of course you're hanging out with your other military girlfriend/fiance/wife girlies, because those ones will DEFINITELY understaond.

Second off, if you're expecting a call but you REALLY want to go out with your friends or a friend, come up with a plan. Say you're going out with a group to the movies, to dinner, the mall, wherever. Drive yourself if at all possible. Even if you don't leave, you'll have a car to sit in and talk to your love privately while allowing your friends to still enjoy themselves and not have to stand around and watch you talk. If you're going out with just one friend, explain to him/her that you're expecting a call and it's extremely important that you answer and talk for as long as he's got time for. Again, a true friend should definitely understand. But another piece of advice that might be easier all together, is just stay in. Schedule plans another night. The only downer on this, is if your call doesn't come in, you've stayed in all night waiting for it and it's almost as bad as missing the call cause you're disappointed.

Thirdly, if you do miss a call... As hard as it may be, don't let it end your world. Missing a call or Skype call or IM or anything is catastrophic. Generally he'll leave a voicemail if he calls (Make sure your voicemail is SET UP and also has FREE SPACE for new messages!) Cherish the voicemail. I don't have to tell you that, cause I'm sure you already will. If you miss a skype call, it's a huge downer because you've got the chance to SEE your love, and there's no advice there. Except you should at least be happy that he tried to get ahold of you which means he's thinking about you :) That's always a wonderful thought when your man is away for so long. You start to wonder if he's still thinking of you or if his mind is in other places. As for missing an email, please don't fret. Unless you sit on your email and refresh the page every minute, and write back the second you get it, you won't be able to email fast enough anyways. Plus sometimes while our boys are on deployment or whatever, the emails don't always pop up in our inbox the same time they are sent.

Missing a phone call or anything of the sort is really hard and has the power to completely wipe you out and drive you crazy. So just try to keep that phone attached and hook up all your things your hubby could talk to you on to your cell. Although I don't have one, I've been told a blackberry or something of the sort is wonderful for military girls so you can check your email, IM and even some have webcams! Don't go out and spend too much money on something like this unless you're really financially comforatable though. A regular phone does just as good!

Stay strong ladies.
I hope you call get a call soon!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Emotionally exhausted?

Ever start to feel... Sorta exhausted? Stupid question. If you're a military girlfriend, fiance, wife, whatever, you've felt exhausted. And it's not only JUST a phsyical type of exhausted, but emotionally too. Actually, it starts emotionally and ends up effecting you physically.

I woke up today, finally got to get out of the house and DID SOMETHING. First I went to the gym and trained, found I had lost an additional 4lbs in the past week and realized my stomach and legs were getting really well defined - GREAT news to me because the past few months of training have felt POINTLESS losing half a pound here, fourth of a pound there while staying the same jean size (depressing). Then I had a wonderful day visiting Patrick's family (Basically the only people I hang out with because they are GREAT!) and I was feeling very good. Patrick went underway a few days ago. And I haven't been suffering like usual, and I haven't been going out to get my mind elsewhere either. It's definitely a weird underway. But anyways, I was playing with his 4 year old cousin "Boo" (Isabella), who has decided we are BFFs and is the sweetest, most beautiful and cutest little girl I've ever met, and talking with his other cousins, who have become my closest of friends, Caleb, Maddie & Elijah. Not to mention, Patrick's younger sister Allyssa. It was carefree and wonderful. I played with my puppy Jack, took a ride in "Dud's" (Pat's Dad's) new '10 mustang convertible! Girl talked it up with his mum and visited with his Grandparents and Aunt and Uncle. It was wonderful and I felt fantastic.

I drove home and once I got there, I dunno what it was, but it set in. I was exhausted, yet I wanted to go jogging and work out. I was hungry, yet didn't want to eat. I was happy, yet very sad. Everytime I had to step over something on the floor, I felt like crying. My room was a mess and it just had me so irritated I could have hit something! My emotions were going haywire, yet no one emotion was strong enough for me to decide what the hell to do to chill out! You'd think after such a good day, I would be feeling full of energy and great!

I was pissy, happy, angry, tired, anxious, excited, silly, everything. Now, how do you give yourself advice when you're feeling like that? You can't. Because you're absolutely crazy and don't know what's up.

It's not that I'm hurting or missing him TOO terribly, because like I said, this underway has been weird. Almost easy. Maybe I'm losing my mind, or maybe this whole military fiance thing is starting to really kick in. This is our first underway as an engaged couple, and things have never been better. So maybe that's why. But, regardless, I have just been feeling weird. I'm moving in 17 days to stay in his apartment until I move to my dorm when college starts at the end of August (and he starts going underway alot and deploying) so I have ALOT to be excited about. For the first time in a year, we'll be able to just SIT on the couch and watch TELEVISION. And not have to worry about the fact that we just "wasted" half an hour together, because we'll have so much time to just be together. It'll be the first time where things are "normal" in over a year.

Can you see my dilema? I couldn't think of a new blog to post, because my mind is just EXHAUSTED. So, while I'm feeling this way, I'm gonna do my best to come up with a solution and share it with the rest of you so we can all get through these "exhausting" days!

First off, I watched a movie. This helped, because it's night time, and now I'm actually sorta tired from watching the screen. So being that tired is my strongest emotion, my next step will be to sleep! But this will never do for during the day when this hits you like a damn freight train. You gotta be on your toes and ready so that you can keep on moving and not let it ruin your day or waste a minute! A friend told me "if you're feeling hungry, yet you don't want to eat, to have a cold drink." Something delicious. Grab an iced tea, rootbeer, water, lemonade, anything! Especially since it's summer right now and those things are just heavenly on a hot day! If you don't have any of this, make yourself a trip to the store, don't mind how much it costs, but buy it. Drink it up and enjoy it. Make sure you doll it up with ice cubes so the water drips down the glass and it just looks AMAZING. A special treat for yourself, that is very small, although will hit the spot perfectly! If you're still hungry after this, do what I did earlier today. Think of something, anything, that you could crave right now. And either make it yourself or have someone do it for you. I called up my grandma and asked her to PLEASE make me some chocolate chip pancakes with whip cream and syrup on top! SOOO BAD for me, but I didn't care. It filled up my tummy and I couldn't complain anymore. If you're feeling tired, yet wanna go do something, and it's the middle of the day or even the morning, go do something. Don't give in to being tired. If you're feeling 50/50 with it, why not? Exhaust yourself so you can sleep easier at night. Go jogging or swimming or biking or anything!

To be honest, emotionally exhausting days are my WORST nightmare. They come and they go, but it's hard to get out of them because you just don't know what you really want! To be honest, I believe the source of my emotional exhausting is the fact that everything is just... Right... When I'm with my sailor. It's not something describible, it's just right. I feel content and as though that's where I'm supposed to be. Here, I just don't know what to do with myself or what I want. But I can't let these days get me. I have packing to do, plenty of errands to run, and fun to have with family and friends that I will be leaving in 17 short days. So no matter what ladies, even if you don't have anything to really DO, find something on days like this. Exhaust yourself. You'll sleep easier and it'll help your health! (Not the pancakes, but the running and working out, etc.) And always remember, if all else fails, the day will end. And tomorrow will be a new day.

Stay strong ladies, and remember what you're doing this for.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Certain days are just...


Something I've realized that will always help me pull through the pain of the everyday struggles of loving someone in the military, is those days where he just... Stirs up all these feelings that have settled in your belly and you all the sudden feel as though the love is new and more alive than ever again. THESE are the days I live for. The day started with a good morning call. We talked for a bit, then went off to do our own things. I heard my computer ringing - Skype. And thinking it was just one of those people who always wants to talk, I was going to ignore it. (Patrick hardly ever gets on skype and when he does, I get a text first.) Well, turns out it was him. I answered, but my webcam was somewhere within the mess of my room. Ran around like crazy until I found it. And basically, from 4 o clock to midnight today, we've been skype-ing! Talking and making silly faces and just being happy to see each other's faces. Finally, he decided he could no longer stay awake. In the morning he'll be going underway, so he needed some rest. We left skype up and decided we'd leave it on throughout the night. He fell asleep first obviously, because I just HAD to write this blog. And now I can hear him breathing as I type this.

We're doing this for a reason. All of the suffering and hardship we go through while our men are deployed, underway, working, tired, cranky, moody, mean... We do it so we can see their smiling faces. We do it so at one point or another, we can melt in their arms. We do it so that we can share the same air, even if it's only for a moment, or even if it's during an arguement. We do this because there is no other option. We love them, and we have the strength inside of us to hang on even when they're away and all seems impossible. Every person in this world is born with the ability to sustain life, even when they're completely alone. We just have to find the drive inside of us and push it. Push it as hard as we possibly can and never stop. That kind of push comes with real, true, pure love. That's the kind of love that will never go away.

When you're feeling down, alone, sad, nervous, stressed, pissed, exhausted... Take a deep breath and know that very soon, he'll be breathing the same air as you. Very soon, all this will pay off. A day only seems long while it's there, but look behind you. How many LONG days have you suffered through? If you're reading this blog, I can guarantee you're at least... I dunno... Lets say fifteen. You've made it through 5,475 days. If you're thirty and reading this, you've been through DOUBLE that! With many of those being very long exhausting days. They came and went, and now you're here. A day is temporary, love is forever.

Now, to close this blog, I will say goodnight. And I will allow you all to see what keeps the drive inside of me strong and what keeps me from ever letting go of this wonderful sailor whos job and duty make my life a living hell sometimes. What keeps the drive going, is the fact that every time we share the same breath, or I wake up to his face, my world gets a thousand times brighter.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

If ya'll don't mind...

I'll tell you a bit about my sailor and I. If you don't wanna hear the story, you don't have to read this blog. I just figured if ya'll are reading my blogs, you might want to know the story behind me! Also, anyone who's reading this can feel free to post their stories too. It's always fun to tell or read about a military couple's relationships!

So I met Patrick during a musical in 2008. Before then, he was just a kid two grades ahead of me who had dreads at my school. We went to a relatively small school, with each class averaging about 90 kids. So the fact that I didn't know him was surprising. I had a lead role and he was playing a supporting role. The night of the production, my voice was gone. I had bronchitis, and it was a nightmare. I was back stage coughing so hard that my throat was quite literally bleeding (gross, I know.) And although everyone felt bad, they were also nervous and in a hurry to get to spots and listen for the cues. The one person I remember actually stopping to make sure I was okay and give me a few encouraging words was Patrick. He hugged me and the time stopped for what seemed forever. Although, no, this was not love at first sight whatsoever. It was friendship at first sight. He had a girlfriend, I had a boyfriend.

Soon after, he became single, while I was still taken for many months following. We were best friends. Better than any other friendship I'd ever seen or experienced. I could tell him everything and anything, and he could do the same to me. He cried to me, and I cried to him. He'd pick me up on nights where I'd need out of my house and we'd pass the time watching ridiculously stupid horror movies. As you can probably see where this is going, one of us fell in love with the other. Can you tell who fell first? Him. He loved me differently and told me very honestly. Being that I'd been with the same guy for almost 2 years, this only made me feel awkward around him. I started worrying that he'd mistake joking for flirting, or mistake a long friendly hug for a love-love hug. Soon after, we found a way to both "co-exist" with one of us being in love with the other, while the other being glad to finally have a best friend she could trust and depend on.

As you can guess, that boyfriend didn't last forever. And only wanting to be friends didn't last forever either. Sadly, neither did civilian life. He dropped me off at my house the night before he left for bootcamp in his little green Dodge Dakota Sport. He made me promise that someday I'd let him take me on a date, even if I was married. He also asked if he could kiss my forehead. I smiled and blushed, then agreed to the date and allowed him to kiss my forehead. That same night, the boyfriend and I broke up. The entire time he was in bootcamp I waited by the mailbox for letters every morning. I even had a lemonade stand to raise a few dollars for stamps because I didn't want my parents to buy them. I was 16 years old, currently a senior in high school and graduating a year early. After he received his phone, we began talking every single night. It wasn't small conversations. They lasted hours. They were about anything and everything. And soon, he got the courage to ask me to be his girlfriend. I said no, because I wanted him to ask in person. So he'd send videos to my cell, asking me to be his girlfriend. I continued to deny him. One day I was talking to him and I was explaining something from school and said "well I told her my boyfriend wasn't gonna be around for a few more months" or something of the sort. And he got real quiet and asked, "Who's your boyfriend?" It took me a few seconds to realize that we were dating, and neither of us even consciously knew it.

I was also extremely lucky with the fact that he had a very wonderful and loving family who treated me as a daughter of their own. When times got difficult without him, I could just drive to their house, enjoy a very delicious dinner and watch a movie with the family, then fall asleep in his bed with his smell on the pillow. Anyone with the last name of Dangrow became my best friend in the world. Although Patrick and I were very far apart, I had the next closest thing, and they loved me as one of their own. For that, I am forever grateful.

First time we got to see each other as a couple was in Groton, Connecticut while he was in submarine school. His family and I drove up for the first time to visit him. As we drove past the base, not quite sure where to park or wait for him, the rain was beating down on the car. It was dark and only the street lights were lighting the wet street. We parked in a small car repair lot across the street from the gates to get in or out. Soon enough, there he was across the street. In his dress blues, with his peacoat on overtop. My heart was beating so fast that I thought I was going to pass out. Before I even realized what I was doing, the car door was open and I was running across the parking lot and into his arms. I can still remember the way his cheeks smelled - fresh, newly shaved, soft. Yes, they smelled soft. It was raining on us, yet we couldn't even feel it. After a few moments, I shared him with his family. Our first kiss was on the car ride to the hotel. We couldn't let each other go, not for one single second. It was perfect and I can easily say hands down, it was the best day of my entire life.

Months and months and months and months and even more months went by. We were always 500 miles apart, although we managed to always keep it together. We had never even experienced having a normal civilian relationship together, so this is all we've ever known. I visited him in Groton, Ct. Then in Providence, RI. Then when he was stationed in Norfolk, VA *a godsend* I started visiting there.

I was accepted at ODU, which is basically a hop, skip and a jump from his base. I celebrated my 17th birthday and graduated high school in the same week while he was underway. I've seen him twice this summer, and the second time, which was last weekend, he proposed. :) He drove TEN hours after a full work week on a Friday (his first duty free weekend in a while) to arrive in our little hometown of Greenville, Pennsylvania around 3am. I was passed out on the couch at his house and he awoke me with a kiss :) Saturday evening he got down on one knee and surprised me completely by asking me to marry him. Obviously I said yes, although being that Patrick is one very predictable guy, I was definitely surprised to be surprised. This I can honestly say ranks up there in favorite days right next to the rainy day in Groton, Connecticut when we first saw each other as a couple.

So that's our story. I sure hope you've enjoyed reading it a tenth as much as I've enjoyed living it!