Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Sorry it's been awhile since my last update. I can't believe it has been a week! Nothing very important has happened...just enough to keep me busier than I'd like to be. That's LIFE, I guess. I spent the end of last week catching up on make-up piano lessons that I missed while I was on vacation. Then, I had "Beauty & the Beast" rehearsals Thursday and Friday nights. Saturday, I spent 3 hours at church recording a concert for a middle school choir director friend of mine. I can't play for her concert, and she can't find anyone else, so we recorded it instead. Then, I went to dinner with Jen & Amanda. We had a great time catching up as always. Those two can always put me in the best mood!

Sunday was a great day. Marine wives always use the term "retail therapy" as an excuse to shop extra while their husbands are away. Well, that doesn't always agree with the bank account, so on Sunday I found a way to shop for FREE. Claire, another choir director friend of mine, enlisted my help to go shopping with her for a more "hip" wardrobe. Her daughter left for college this year, and so she now calls me her surrogate daughter. She really is an amazing woman, and has kindof been a mentor to me since I moved here. She was instrumental in getting my name out in the community to start booking piano jobs. Now I have more than I can handle, so I owe a lot to her. Anyway, she HATES shopping with a passion (can you imagine?!) and doesn't know what matches what, but she knows that she wants to be in style. So, I got to go crazy with her Master Card. She was so open-minded and was willing to try on anything and everything. It was almost more fun to help her find clothes than to shop for myself because I could do it all without feeling guilty! Plus, I could see how excited she was. She is definitely the trendiest teacher at Jacksonville High School now. My reward: lunch, dinner, a new shirt and a pair of earrings. Can't beat that!

Yesterday and today it's been back to the same old grind. Between piano lessons, musical practice, my Key Volunteer stuff, and trying to socialize in between, I'm TIRED!! Today was sad for two reasons:
1. Starbucks was supposed to have their grand opening today, and when I went by to get my grande, 2%, sugar-free, hazelnut latte, they were closed!!!! I have been waiting almost 3 years for this town to get a Starbucks, and it's wearing on my emotions!
2. Today was also sad because it was probably my last hair appointment with my hair guy, George. Yes, he's moving to Phoenix to live with his boyfriend...imagine that.

My goal for the rest of the week is to get out of this funk I've been in. I miss Ryan a lot...not that that's a new thing, but more than usual I guess. I think I just need an attitude adjustment, and I'm scared to pray for one because I know I'll get one!! Know what I mean??? Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wake Up Call!

Don't worry, I'm not talking about a bad "wake up call" or anything...I got the BEST kind this morning when Ryan called me at 6 a.m.! We got to talk for about half an hour, and the satellite phone only cut out one time. That's a first! He sounded so good--probably the best I've heard him--and it put me in the best mood for the rest of the day. I wanted to go back to bed after we got off, but I couldn't quit smiling enough to sleep, so I decided to get up and be productive. I finished my laundry from my trip (finally!), went to the grocery store, walked both dogs, pulled some weeds, bought tickets to "The Drowsy Chaperone" in New York (for a great discount, might I add!), returned a shirt that I decided was ugly, and got my large Diet Coke with Sugar-free cherry from Sonic before I had to teach lessons at 3:00. Then I taught 6 piano lessons until 7:00 and flew to musical practice after that until 9:00. Of course, I TiVo-ed American Idol and watched Ace get voted off. I was sad because he's SO nice to look at, but he was definitely not the best singer in the competition, so I guess I have to let him go. Man! If my days keep going by this fast, Ryan will be home in no time!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

NC Here I Come!

After 10 days in Texas (that FLEW by!) I'm heading back to North Carolina tomorrow. It's always hard to leave, but I'm actually excited to get back in my "groove" because time seems to pass faster that way. I also can't wait to see my puppies!!! Here are some pictures of highlights from my trip including: Davis Soben's 1st birthday, Pappy's 83rd birthday, Starbucks with Thompson & Molly (not pictured: Brent, Peter, & Brad), and Easter Sunday with my family.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Sometimes I don't know where my home is. North Carolina has finally started to feel like home after 2 and a half years because it's where Ryan and I have our house and all of the "stuff" that makes it a home. It's where lots of my friends are, my piano students are, my church is, my bank is, and all that stuff. It's where I sleep every night, and it's where my puppies are right now. (I miss them terribly!!) Then I come to Texas and fly into good old Abilene, and something just feels NORMAL here. I love being able to come back to the place I grew up for 22 years and fall right back into the swing of things. People are so NICE in Abilene...or in most of Texas for that matter. It's definitely good to be home.

OK, Molly's griping at me for not updating my blog, so here's what's been going on with me. Since I've been here, it's been a little crazy. I was delayed for 3 and a half hours at DFW to start things off because of the high winds Friday night. So, I finally got to Abilene at about 10:30, which was really 11:30 North Carolina time. I pretty much crashed that night. I visited with Mammy and Pappy that next morning, ran around and shopped a little bit with my mom after that, and then went to the driving range with my Dad that afternoon. Let's see...how long has it been since I've picked up a golf club?! I wasn't as bad as I thought I would be though, and it honestly kindof makes me want to start playing again.

On Sunday, I went to church with my parents and sang in Dad's choir. I didn't realize how much I love singing with a GOOD choir (no offense to anyone at FBC Swansboro who might be reading this). Then my family went to the Soben's house to celebrate Davis's 1st birthday Sunday evening. He is the cutest little guy ever, and it was so fun to watch him stuff his face with guacamole. He would've rather eaten guacamole all night instead of birthday cake!

On Monday, I drove to Arlington with my dad because he was taking my Grandma to the hospital the next morning to have a hip replacement. Ryan called on the way, so I got to talk to him for a good 20 minutes. That made my day! My Aunt Julie, Grandma, Dad, and I ate lunch, and then I headed to Flower Mound to visit Bill & Penny. We had dinner and I stayed the night over there. It was great to see them...kindof makes me feel more connected to Ryan when we're all together.

I got up early Tuesday morning and drove to Arlington Memorial Hospital where my Grandma was having surgery. She was being wheeled to recovery as soon as I got there, so we got to go straight in and visit her. She was high on anesthesia, so that was pretty funny. I don't think she will remember talking to any of us. The doctor said that her surgery went great and that he was going to try to have her up walking around on her new hip that afternoon! Isn't that crazy?! I was glad that everything went okay and that I got to be there. We went in and see her one more time, and then Dad and I drove back to Abilene yesterday evening.

So...that's pretty much what's been going on since I've gotten to Texas. Today is really the first day that I have no set plans, which is really nice. It's just nice to be home.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

7 Days Without a Phone Call Makes One "Weak"

I know, I know...cheesy title, but I couldn't resist. Really though, I was beginning to get anxious that I hadn't heard from Ryan in a week, but he finally called me yesterday. Hearing his voice on the phone is like medicine. I felt like a new person the rest of the day! The battalion had a tough weekend, so it was a relief to know that he was safe & sound...at least, as safe and sound as a person CAN be in Iraq!

Well, these days it seems like piano lessons and musical practice take up most of my time. I'm playing for Jacksonville High School's performance of "Beauty and the Beast", and it is going to be great! Those kids are doing such an amazing job. Most of the school concerts I play for are a chore, but this is FUN! I must really have no life because I actually look forward to going most of the time. The only thing I feel bad about is leaving my puppies alone all day. I know that's ridiculous, but they ARE my children...even though they're furry 4-legged children who don't speak English. After practice last night, I met Amanda for coffee at Moka Joe's. We are anxiously awaiting the grand opening of Starbucks because we'll be first in line. (That's right...you heard me...we don't have a Starbuck's!) I usually don't have time to eat dinner between lessons and practice, so she totally made my night by bringing me homemade stuffed shells for dinner. Other than talking to my husband, it was the highlight of my day!!

Well, only 2 more days and I'll be on a plane to Texas! Home has never sounded so good.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weekend Fun

This weekend was so nice and relaxing. I didn't have any real schedule, and everything that I did have planned was FUN. I love weekends like that! On Saturday, Robin & I went to a craft fair on base, which was supposed to be a really big deal. There were definitely a ton of vendors there, but unfortunately the items for sale were pretty sad. I really wanted to buy something but literally couldn't find anything worth spending money on. I was wishing the whole time that I had reserved a booth and made stuff to sell...I could've made some big money! We bailed on the craft fair and spent the rest of the afternoon having lunch and shopping, which is always fun.

Today, Robin & Jackie Rose came to church with me, so we went out to lunch at a great restaurant on the water in Swansboro called the Ice House. It's built on a dock, and it was such a beautiful day that we decided to eat outside. Jackie was so cute waving at the boats and telling us "Shhh...the fish are sleeping!" When I got home, I looked at my right arm and realized that I had gotten the most ridiculous looking sunburn from sitting out on the dock. Evidently the sun ONLY shone on about 6 inches of my right arm, so I look like I have the worst farmer's tan (or rather...sunburn) ever. It's supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow, so I can either wear long sleeves and be hot, or wear short sleeves and look like an idiot!

I spent this evening having dinner with two great friends, Amanda & Jen. We took Jen out to Outback for her birthday, which was really 2 weeks ago, but she was out of town. Since their husbands are both deployed with Ryan, we have a lot in common these days. Not only do we share a love of margaritas (ha ha), but we also share the same emotional roller coaster called the Marine Wife Life. We're a pretty good support system for each other.

This week will be pretty low key until I fly to TEXAS on FRIDAY!!! I can't wait to be home and see family & friends. I'm definitely feeling the need for a break. Also, say a special prayer for Ryan & all of the Marines whenever you think about it. They need God's protection, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.