Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moving Update

We were able to combine the last two phases - not having to stay at (or pay for) the hotel. So I am officially out of Riverside apartments and into the new condo. No furniture yet, but we're here and the rest of the stuff will arrive on Tuesday. Many thanks to my Dad and father-in-law, Jim, who helped with the cleaning and move - and of course thanks to my ever patient husband who puts up with me in times like this.

More Cooley-ness

I'm not the only who thinks Cooley is pretty awesome.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Awesomeness On Screen

So over at Chris Cooley's blog, they would like us to know that Chris and Tanner are producing a movie. The plot line is said to be

"After losing his wife, a ghost hunter questions what he believes in and decides to retire. When he gets a call from a potential client who guarantees he'll find the evidence he's looking for, he can't resist taking one last shot. What happens as soon as the team arrives at the home, is tragic and shocking...and something that's never happened on any ghost hunting gig before. "

Now a few things. 1) I will be first in line at any Cooley produced movie. I like the Cooleys, I think they are adorable and I will support their endeavors. 2) If this is distracting from other things, say like getting women's replica jerseys in the Shop 47 (Store 47? CC47Shop?), well I would be disappointed. But I did just check and see that you can now buy Chris Cooley short shorts that say "Tight End" across the butt. Nice addition. 3) Chris Cooley's efforts to get the Chief's tomahawk back once again show why the Skins, and DC, is lucky to have him on our team.

First game next week - go Skins, go Pats!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For Those That Are Curious

This is how my sweater is coming. The second picture is the lace work, which I promise looks a lot better in person.

I am also knitting socks. This is one. They are very comfy and I am excited to cuddle in them when it gets cooler.

If my husband doesn't come home soon, the cat may start wearing sweaters.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Operation Wicker Cat Basket

Because back in December it seemed like a good idea to move before my husband came home (so he wouldn't feel unsettled) and to once again run the move as a solo operation, I am in the midst of a move. There have been many times in the last couple weeks that I crawl exhausted, back aching, into my bed, make that a bed, and think to myself, how did I think this was a good idea? Here’s how the Doyle-Exnicios move has broken down. As you can see, we are about 50% completed, halfway through Phase 3. And by we, I mean Bailey and me.

Phase 1 - Move to new condo which landlords have not vacated. Live in new condo with landlords’ furniture and dog. Supplement landlords’ furniture with a tv, cable, clothes, some food, Trader Joe’s wine, a litter box, Furminator, scratching post, catnip pad, wicker cat basket, knitting supplies and one orange cat. Realize that even though new condo is only on the second floor, not having an elevator makes a big difference when moving. Mentally curse my husband, the Army, the Sony and anyone else who caused me to lug a 60lb (estimated weight) television from the ninth floor of the apartments to the backseat of the CRV to the second floor of the condos. While moving to the condo, prepare old apartment for our (eventual) departure and hid things from the movers (like more Trader Joe’s wine and passports.) Deal with dog with nervous stomach and broken air conditioning. Start new job.

Phase 2 - Movers arrive at old apartment to pick up furniture and other items and bring them to storage for three weeks. Hope that nothing I have sent to storage is anything I (or the cat) will need in the next three weeks.

Phase 3 - Move out of new condo with landlords’ furniture back to old apartment which now has no furniture. Bring back clothes, litter box, Furminator, scratching post, catnip pad, wicker cat basket, some knitting supplies and one orange cat. Realize that while I kept the air mattress out of storage, I forgot sheets and pillows. Realize again that there is no built in lighting in this apartment and that I did not keep lamps out of storage. Go to Target to buy sheets, pillows and lighting.

Phase 4 - Move out of old apartment and into the only cat friendly hotel in Old Town Alexandria. Be sure the hotel is one of the pricier ones in the area. Clean old apartment in preparation for turning over keys. Realize that I thought the vacuum was too hard to carry back and forth between locations and I sent it to storage. Call father-in-law and beg him to bring vacuum from Manassas. Await arrival of my Dad from CT, making Phase 3 the last solo phase of this move. (Thank God)

Phase 5 - Move out of pricey, cat friendly hotel. Move to new condo, with no furniture. Spend one night in condo with no furniture. Excitedly await furniture arrival. Take Dad out for margaritas to celebrate new condo renter-ship, complete with furniture, bedding, lighting and an orange cat and thank him for graciously taking time off to come unpack boxes.

So that’s been my August, which will flow into my September. I really am so happy my Dad is coming to help - all I could think all weekend as I moved back to the empty apartment was that it was the last time I had to lug anything anywhere on my own. I also reiterate what I said last summer when I moved my husband and I from CO to VA - the next move is all yours, babe - I am going to the beach.

PS You can check out how Bailey has helped with the move over at my husband's blog, where she regularly appears as a guest blogger.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Check Out My Husband's Stuff

After a short hiatus, my husband has churned out some new stuff - new photos, political commentary - you name it, you may find it there. So check it out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

News That Greatly Upset Me on Sunday

I called it, and yet I am not happy to be right. Immediately after Elena Delle Donne "committed" to UConn, I said that was a mistake and she wouldn't last past winter break. I didn't expect her not to last past two days. I know the party line, she's young, there was a lot of pressure, blah blah blah. To whom much is given much is asked. Don't take the scholarship and all that comes with it if you can't follow through. Most analysts say this isn't going to hurt UConn this season - but I am sure this makes Pat Summit a lot happier than Geno Auriemma. No one seems interested in what the real story is here - and I sure hope Geno does not release her from her scholarship. I think if we all gave up when things got tough - a day and a half into the toughness - no one would ever complete anything. Time for some growing up, Delle Donne.

Feeling Better

Thanks for all the long distance hugs and words of support before my first day - I know I was quite the whiner this weekend but sometimes it just all comes crashing down on you and you feel pretty crappy. But hearing from all of you helped, especially Skip who hasn't even met me but still passed along a hug. That's big of you Skip, and I will remember that the next time I purchase squirrel cookies at the Dairy Godmother.

First day went ok - lots of paperwork and what's all this about choosing a health plan AND PAYING FOR IT?? I mean in the Army the health care left some things to be desired but it was there and it was free. Ta da, health care. So I have to research to figure out what these all mean. Don't even get me started on retirement plans. Gotta shower and get set for day two, see you all soon.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

NY Times Modern Love Essay

Please read this beautiful, spot on essay written by a military wife. Her story is so close to mine - the small wedding for practical (and some romantic) reasons before a deployment, the fears and routines that go into a deployment and finally a happy ending with a big wedding celebration. Its nice to read about her happy ending, but made me cry since our's still seems so far away.

Sunday Whine

I figured its been a while since I talked about why being an Army Wife sucks and why I just want this part of lives to end, so I figured today was as good as day as ever to bring it up again. Its not just the big things that make deployment so hard - the missing of birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or missing crises or family emergencies (that sucks too, don't get me wrong) - but its often the day to day stuff that makes it impossible. I recently left Active Duty and got a new job. This process, though stressful, went fairly smoothly, but it was definitely made harder without my husband. There was no one to give me a good luck kiss and hug before my interviews. No one to tell me my suit looked ok before I left or help calm my nerves on my cell phone before I went into the office. When I got the job, I couldn't even call my husband to tell him, but had to wait until he was able to call me and not know when that would be. No one to have a glass of wine with that night to celebrate or take me out for dinner for a well fought victory. And here I am the night before I start my new job. No one here to help soothe my first day anxieties and jitters. No one to give me a kiss as I leave for work tomorrow morning and tell me they can't wait to hear how my first day went. Again, as I try to sleep tonight, nervous about what tomorrow may bring, I can't even call my husband. Its these small things - the Sundays on your own, no hugs at the end of a long day, no one to share Chinese take out with - all these things that were supposed to come with marriage that make this deployment so hard and in the last couple months of this deployment are really leaving me hanging on by a (fraying) string.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Have You Seen This Commercial?

Its all over the Olympics. I think its terrible. First of all, who lets their kids play sports if their kid is going to be sad like these kids. Second, this commercial is promoting the idea that life sucks and makes you sad and you should go eat at McDonalds when you feel bad because McDonalds makes you feel better. I think this exact thought process is what has caused me to gain about 10 lbs throughout this deployment. Point is, its an awful commercial and I plan to only get my sympathy food at Wendy's from now on.

I Spoke Too Soon

No sooner was the trailer released that they announced that the Harry Potter film's release would be delayed until July 2009. Disappointing, especially when part one of "Deathly Hallows" won't be released until Dec 2010 - so the series won't be completed until 2011??! They have also committed to using the same actors throughout the series, but pushing back the films that far makes Daniel Radcliffe 22 in 2011. Won't he be pushing the age barriers there? Anyway, I'm disappointed we won't spend my birthday weekend watching Harry this year, but I guess it gives me more time to reread the books.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

As Promised

Some photos from leave.

This is the Arch in St. Louis. We went here early during leave to meet Abigail Rebecca Bardill, the adorable off spring of our friends Patrick and Alison.

Our hotel was less than fabulous, but we had this corner room that was tucked away and as you can see, it had a pretty decent view.

Andrew is holding Abigail in the other photo. We have to work on Andrew's baby holding skills over the next year or so, hopefully ending the trend of babies crying as soon as they end up in his arms. I think he need to apply Cesar Milan type philosophies to the baby - if you are afraid, the baby will feel it and not be happy. Calm, assertive leadership.As you can see here, Abigail is quite content when I hold her and her "Uncle" Andrew is seated next to us. We had so much fun meeting Abigail and hanging out with family. We hope to see Abigail again soon, hopefully before too much walking and talking occur.

After St. Louis we hung out at home for a few days. We saw the Smith family, Christine & Hans and Adam. Sorry there are no photos of that. The Smith family picnic involved fruit salad and many Smith sisters (and one Smith brother). We had margaritas with the future Hubers. Hanging out with Adam involved a lot of steak and wine. Good times were had by all.

After staying out too late with Adam and eating WAY too much, we woke up four hours later and headed to the airport for the Bahamas. First we stayed at the Sheraton Cable Beach, which was very beach resort-y, but nice. If you are a Starwood Preferred Guest, you get free bottles of water in your room. If you are not, you have to pay $3.50 for that water. Word to the wise. This is the view from our first room (we had three, long story.)

Next we travelled to Eleuthera for some quieter rest and relaxation. I won't get into the lizard drame other than to say there are lizards in Eleuthera, sometimes inside your condo, and they are sneaky and I don't like them. The lizard drama added a certain je ne sais quoi to the weekend. Here is a photo of the condos we stayed in (Pineapple Fields, HIGHLY recommend) and a few other photos of the vacation, including my awesome mango daiquiri. Sorry for the wonky format, either Blogger needs to update or I need lessons on how to include photos embedded in text.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Harry Potter Trailer is Out

See it here. It looks fantastic, it comes out two days after my birthday, which will make 29 a little less painful. That said, this book is so intense, I'm a little nervous to see it. I cried a lot when Harry brought back Colin's dead body in movie #4, so all the death in this movie may be a bit much for me. I'm still looking forward to it. I may reread the book (for the third time) before it comes out, just to get ready. I have been meaning to reread book 7 because I feel that I read it so fast to see what happened that I may have missed some things. As a side note, one of my favorite memories of my relationship with Andrew is driving across country last year. Andrew had never read any of the books and decided he would read them all in about three weeks in time to see movie #5 and then read book 7. We were moving to Virginia but I couldn't allow Andrew to read silently while I drove, so we took turns driving and reading out loud to each other. It was a great time in the middle of a really difficult part of our life as Andrew reported back to the Army. Anyway, enjoy the trailer, despite its dark plotlines, its a great story.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Now That I Can Speak Freely About the Army

Check out Rick Reilly's column on 2LT Caleb Campbell, the West Point cadet allowed to join the NFL draft, only to have the Army rescind its policy after he was already at training camp. I've talked about my point of view on this a bunch on the blog, but I think this column does a good job of summing up what is wrong with the Army's actions.

A Plea to Chris Cooley

I would like to support Chris Cooley's blog, The Cooley Zone, as much as possible, because you know, it's awesome. That said, Chris Cooley's Store 47 does not carry ladies' jerseys. Ladies jerseys are still close to replica, but they are cut narrower and shorter. I like having the ladies style jersey because without it, I look like this in a football jersey. See, sort of large and shapeless. I don't have a photo of my in my ladies' Tom Brady jersey . . . but the point is I am much more adorable in it, here's a photo of the jersey design.

It's difficult to find a suitable ladies' Chris Cooley jersey - I did a quick Google search and came up with this.
As you may note, pale yellow is not a Redskins color. And that's not exactly a replica jersey. Why they think that just because women are more petite and would like a better fit means we would also like it to come in pink or yellow or some other mde up color is beyond me. My Tom Brady jersey may be cut slimmer than Tommy's, but other than that we look like twins during home games.

So Chris Cooley, hook a girl up. I am looking for a replica jersey, in the away colors, like my husband's above, #47, Cooley jersey, in a slim ladies' fit. I will proudly promote the link to the store on my blog if such items become available. And I promise to buy one the moment they are available.

In Case You Missed It

There are TWO United States Basketball teams favored to win the Gold this Olympics. . . sort of gets my goat that you don't hear as much about this team as the quote Redeem Team unquote. I have a lot of opinions on the men's team, but I will leave those out right now and just ask you to check out Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird's awesome performances this summer.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Take A Moment. . .

and check out what's happening at Chris Cooley's blog. He shares tales from Canton, some info on the generosity of Jason Taylor and Nike, as well as his IPod play list. Be sure to check the blog post from a few weeks ago about training camp with the children's hospital visitors, showing again why I think Chris Cooley is really just an all around good guy. (Even if he took the idea from Drew Brees). It also gives me another excuse to buy clothes from Chris Cooley's store, apparently all funds are going to the children's hospital. Making that Cooley jersey a must have. Besides, my husband will be home for a good portion of the football season so the Exnicios Redskins jersey will be reclaimed, leaving me Redskins swag-less. Buying the Cooley jersey is a no brainer.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Knitting Update

After battling with the mail order company to find a suitable in stock color of Brown Sheep Fleece yarn for my sweater, I settled on seafoam from Debbie Bliss Cathay line. Its greener than it looks in this picture, much less blue. I think it will be a pretty spring color, which based on my current progress, may be when I finish it. I am really trying to pick a project and work it to the end, but I have a shawl started that will be a Christmas present, this sweater, I start sock class on Monday and I just found out I need to make baby booties tonight. Oh, and I started that crocheted kitten doll before my husband came home. I don't want to be one of those people with lots of unfinished projects, but there are just too many fun ones to choose from sometimes! I am excited to start commuting on publc transportation so I can knit while I commute - instead of driving on the GW Parkway.


Its been a trying day. For one, I feel schizophrenic from NBC's Olympics coverage. Everything happened 12 hours ago - do you have to split cycling into three segments separated by beach volleyball? But mostly its because I had to say goodbye to my husband (again) today. Leave is over, he is back to fighting the terrorists and I am back to living in my quiet apartment with the cat. I love the cat, more than almost anything other than my husband, but it really sucks here. In fact, after leaving the airport I tried to come home but was so upset at how empty the place felt and how the bed was still set up with pillows for two people, I had to leave. I couldn't be there by myself just yet. I'm not ready to retell the story of how awesome our leave was or how hard our goodbyes were - mostly because its just too sad, but also because I can't possibly do it justice. I hope to at least post a photo essay of our leave in a day or two.

BTW, this is what comes up when you search google images for "sad kitten". It seemed appropriate for how the cat and I feel tonight. Sad, alone, kinda just wanting to pull the covers over our heads but stuck waiting for swimming on NBC.