a quarter of the way there. 11.15.12

Well, another month has gone by, faster than I could have imagined (Thank God!). I really am not one to wish away time, but I am SO ready to move to Tennessee and welcome Uriah home from Afghanistan with open arms (and lots of kisses, of course!). As for now, I’m trying my best to enjoy the holiday season and look to the future for all of the exciting things that I know are coming my way!

Like any other month, I have been a busy little bee. For starters, I had my wisdom teeth removed last month. What an experience. Let’s just say that Walter Reed is a teaching hospital: good for students, bad for patients! They were supposed to remove all four teeth, but only were able to remove three because I woke up in the middle of the procedure. YES, I WOKE UP. It wasn’t one of those “Woah, I’m awake” kind of deals, no, it was more like one of those “WHY AM I AWAKE AND FEELING YOU STAB MY MOUTH LIKE IT’S A STEAK DINNER” kind of deal. OUCH. So, because I woke up and they were unable to get me back to sleep, they left one in, stating that “my teeth just didn’t want to come out.” Lucky me. After the surgery, I was at least able to go home for almost a week and be pampered by mom and dad, which was fabulous :). (Oh, and I bought a new car while I was there! YAHOO! a 2010 Ford Escape. Wonderful!).

The following week, I was fortunate enough to go home one last time to visit Nicole (and Beau!) before she moved to Texas. It was definitely a bittersweet weekend; It was great hanging out with my two best friends, but it was awful knowing it would be the last time I saw them for awhile. I hate that they will be living halfway across the country, but it just gives Uriah and I some incentive to do some traveling :). What a bummer though, I mean now the people closest to me in heart, are really farthest away from me in distance. My husband is in Afghanistan, my sister in New Mexico, my best friends in Texas and my family in Ohio. *sigh*. I guess that’s just what happens in the military.

Since going home for the last time, I have switched to nights at the hospital, and therefore have not had a life. However, for everyone who had asked and continues to ask, despite all of the damage Hurricane Sandy has caused the East Coast, it has thankfully missed us here in DC (there were some wicked winds and a lot of rain, but I didn’t even lose power!). On that note, prayers to everyone who has been devastated by that awful storm. I am also glad to say that election season is finally over and now everyone, especially these political crazies in DC, can finally go back to their normal lives! Whew. 

Now to the stuff everyone might actually be interested in:

1. Uriah is doing well. Not to say he is enjoying himself over there, because he is NOT, but he is managing. He is taking it one day at a time, counting down the days until he is home. Please continue to pray for his safety as he makes his way home over the next seven months. Again, care packages, cards, letters, and any words of encouragement to let him know you’re thinking of him are always welcome! Please message me on Facebook, call, text, or email me if you would like his address. A HUGE thank you to those of you who have already sent things his way. As of November 7th, we have completed two months of deployment, with seven months to go (right about 200 days left-and yes, I AM counting!). We are still unable to Skype, but we talk on the phone a few times a week (more, when we’re lucky), and chat over Facebook just about everyday. I miss him like crazy and I can’t wait for him to come home. I love you biggest, Uriah!

2. GOOD NEWS!!!!!! I have finally received orders from the big Army! I will be leaving Walter Reed in mid January and reporting to Fort Campbell at the end of January-beginning of February. I will definitely miss working with the Wounded Warriors and the true heroes of our country, but I am excited to be starting a new chapter in my life, one that means I will be living with Uriah. I will not, however, miss the DC area or the East Coast, and I am excited to be headed somewhere less metropolitan and more rural. Fort Campbell, for those of you who don’t know is on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, located about an hour northwest of Nashville (my favorite city ever!). I cannot wait to see what this change of atmosphere will bring and I am even more excited about settling into a nice house and coming home to my husband every night!

3. Homecoming. For those of you who have been asking: NO, I will NOT be home for Thanksgiving and NO, I will NOT be home for Christmas. I work Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving (both night shifts), but I will be home Black Friday (Thank God I will be flying and NOT shopping!) until the following Monday. As far as Christmas goes, I work December 23-26, so I will be coming home December 27-30 (Molly will also  be home those days). If you want to see me, plan accordingly, as I have a lot of people to see, and a little time to see them. I would love to see as many of you as I can, but I understand the holiday season is chaotic. If I can’t see you in December, I will be home again in January, as I make my move from Walter Reed to Fort Campbell (more details to come). I miss you all!

I think that just about covers it. Thank you for all of your prayers in regards to Uriah and I, they have been answered and I could not be more excited to be living with him upon his return home from Afghanistan. I cannot wait to see all of my friends and family over the next couple of months and I thank you again for your support of Uriah and I as we go through this crappy deployment. I miss and love you all!!! XOXOXO

As promised from the last post, here are a few random pictures from the last month….. Enjoy! :)

November 15, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

one down, eight to go. 10.10.12

Since I say this every time, I will go ahead and say it again: Things are busy! Even though Uriah has left, things have no slowed down as I expected they would. But, it keeps me busy and it keeps me distracted, two things I desperately need right now!

As far as Uriah goes, the title says it all: As of October 7th, we have made it through one month of deployment, with “just” eight months to go. He is finally settled into his “home” (at least for the next eight months). Although he is exhausted much of the time and tired of doing the same thing over and over and over again every single day (not to mention working 12-14 hours, 7 days a week), he is trudging through. Neither of us expected this to be easy, but it is definitely harder than we imagined. We are not one of the lucky couples that gets to Skype everyday (In fact, we are unable to Skype at all, period). We do, however, get to talk on the phone 3-4 days a week, as long as I am not working (since he is 8.5 hours ahead of us, he usually gets off work in the middle of my shift, therefore I can’t talk on the phone). Our true saving grace is Facebook (yes, you can giggle); We are able to chat back and forth on Facebook and answer each other as we are available. It has been nice being able to communicate with him, although I wish I could just see his face! But, there’s not much either of us can do about that, I suppose. As far as writing him and sending cards or packages, please feel free to contact me for his address! He loves hearing from everyone back home and it definitely brightens his long work days! I continue to miss him like crazy everyday and I, as always, love him more than anything! And obviously, I ABSOLUTELY cannot wait until he is home and safe. 237 days! :)

Aside from having my phone GLUED to my side, waiting for a Facebook message or, even better, a phone call, I have actually been pretty busy outside of work for a change (a very, very NICE change!). Here in Maryland, a friend from work and I have been trying to get each other out of the house more, so we have seen several movies over the last couple of weeks, which has definitely been nice! (Thanks, Kathryn!). I also went home in mid-September for the Charity Newsies pizza cook-off; It was a blast. It was so nice to see all of the friends and family I haven’t seen in such a long time, not to mention support a good cause in the Columbus area. This past weekend, I was back in Ohio again for a very good friend’s wedding! Since I was able to spend almost 5 days at home, I was able to do a lot; I went to dinner with my mom and dad and some close family friends and hung out with my two best friends from college (they’re moving to Texas SOON!). I also attended Frances and Eric’s wedding (two very close friends from high school), which was SO MUCH FUN. I am so thankful they invited me to be a part of such a special day and I am so glad I was able to make it back to Ohio for all of the fun! I am so happy for the two of them as they start their new lives together!!!

So yes, the traveling has not stopped, nor has all of the chaos, and looking to the future, it won’t stop anytime soon, either. A week from today, I get my wisdom teeth out (All four! Ouch, looks like I’ll be REALLY dumb!). My dad is going to come pick me up from the hospital and drive me home after the surgery so I can rest and recover with some homemade chicken noodle soup and milkshakes (and probably a pig pen or two!). Although I will probably be exhausted and in quite a bit of pain, I’m glad to be getting them out and I am definitely glad to be going home to recover. :). The next weekend will also be spent in Ohio, as it is my last weekend before Nicole (BEST FRIEND!) moves to Texas to see her. Definitely bittersweet, but I am happy for her and Beau, as they start their new chapter in married life!

As far as work and the Army goes, I’ll sum it up in one word: FRUSTRATING. Work is going well and I am still loving the patients I’m working with. But honestly, I feel like I am always at the hospital (not just for work, but for Army training, doctor and dental appointments, all of the other crap the Army tacks on to our normal job). I just keep trying to remind myself of a few things: 1. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take care of the patients I am fortunate enough to care for on a daily basis, 2. I got paid to go to school, and therefore I am not paying off $120,000 worth of debt, and 3. Things can’t stay like this forever.

Aside from the frustrations of always being at the hospital, I am more frustrated by the fact that Uriah and I still have no orders to be stationed together upon his return from Afghanistan in the late spring/early summer. I have been getting the run around from SO many people, as has he, and we are both tired of it. The Labor and Delivery class I was hoping to get into in December is closed, and there is another one in April. They said they can try to work me into that class, but there is 1. No guarantee I would get in, and 2. No guarantee I would be stationed with Uriah following the class. On top of that, even if I did get the class and get stationed with Uriah after the class, it wouldn’t be until the class ended in the middle of August (meaning at least three or four more months apart after he gets home). PLUS, I wouldn’t be able to see him get off of the plane, and there is no guarantee I would see him at all between the time he gets home and the time I get back from the Labor and Delivery course (since it is in Hawaii). SUPER. FRUSTRATING. But, it gets better! I was previously told I would be able to go to Fort Campbell when Uriah gets home, but that is not the case; Fort Campbell has no slots of a Medical/Surgical nurse (like myself), so they are unable to send me there. Our only other option is for Uriah to leave Fort Campbell, but they are saying he has to be there two years (May of 2014) before that can happen. So yes, things are a little overwhelming, completely frustrating, and simply exhausting, but I am praying that we can be together sooner, rather than later. If anyone knows how to make this happen, please contact me. Thanks :).

I definitely don’t want to leave you all on that negative note; Honestly, I don’t like even putting negative things on here because, really, who wants to read them!? But I needed a quick vent session, and I desperately need some prayers from you all! (Thanks in advance!).

Anyways, as I said before, I will be home the next two weekends (after this one, of course), and I would love to see anyone in town! Also, again, if you want to write Uriah or send him cards or packages, please get ahold of me so I can give you his address. LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL! (Sorry, no pictures today, as I write this, I am sick with a nasty sinus infection, and I am REALLY not feeling up to it. Next time, I promise!). :)

October 10, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. 9.11.12

It’s been quite a roller coaster ride of emotions lately; I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever felt so many different emotions over such a short period of time in my entire life. And let me tell you: IT IS EXHAUSTING . So here goes nothing…. (Warning: You might be exhausted by the time this is over, too!).

Soon after I wrote the last post, Uriah (somehow) got approved for what the Army calls “Special Opportunity Leave,” which is one week of leave granted to those deploying just prior to the date they ship out. This came as a total shock to both of us, so it was definitely nice to sneak in an extra week together, even though I had to work most of the nights. (excited, happy, surprise) Aside from working, we stuck with our usual plan: treating ourselves to dinner and a movie and relaxing. This time, we also got to squeeze in a Washington National’s baseball game in between the hectic schedule, which was definitely a blast! (stress and carefree). After spending the week together, Uriah and I went back to Ohio for his going away party. It was great to spend some time with both of our families and friends that we haven’t seen in awhile, but it was also a bitter and cold reminder of what was to come. (bittersweet). After the going away party, we both had to go back to work for a week, and then it was back to Tennessee for me, so Uriah and I could spend his last week together. The first night I flew in we each got a 90 massage (relaxed) followed by a night in Nashville (joy, love). We had an absolute BLAST! The week that followed consisted of a lot of preparation: packing for deployment, running errands and tying up loose ends, and getting ready to move out of the apartment (anxiety!). I can’t tell you how fast that week went; Before I knew it, it was Friday and we were sitting at the Battalion, waiting for the busses to come get Uriah (fear, anger, sadness). Although I knew he was going half a world away, to an ugly, ugly war, I also knew that when he got home, we would FINALLY, after nine months of marriage and seventeen months of separation, be together again under the same roof (again, bittersweet). I miss him more than I ever thought was possible and love him more than words could explain. Please pray for the safety of Uriah and his soldiers as they complete their tour in Afghanistan and return home to their loved ones in the states.

QUICK UPDATE: Uriah is now en route to his FOB (Forward Operating Base) in Afghanistan, where he will be stationed for the next nine months. He is ready to get to his FOB, get settled into his new and temporary “home”, and be done with traveling for awhile. He is not at his final destination as of now, so he is currently unable to receive mail, but as soon as he arrives, I will let you know. If you want his address, please contact me privately through a phone call or text, Facebook, or an email. Thank you for the love and support you have shown both him and I, it is MUCH appreciated and does not go unnoticed.

Since I have been super busy juggling work and Uriah’s deployment, I haven’t done much outside of that. However, my dad did have his annual Maryland Softball Tournament for MDA here this past weekend, and lucky for me, both of my parents were able to make it over this way for the weekend. It was definitely a nice distraction after seeing Uriah off to be able to spend time with my parents and enjoy watching some softball in some beautiful weather. Plus it always helps when we win the championship (and my dad gets tournament MVP!); Not bad for a bunch of old guys!!! :P Way to go, Columbus!

I am trying to plan a few things for myself outside of work to keep me busy during these next nine months, so I do have a few things to look forward to: 1. September 21-23, I will be in Ohio for the Charity Newsies Cook-off and Jordan’s coming home party (I hope to see you all there!). 2. October 3-7, I will be in Ohio for my close friends from high school (Frances and Eric’s) wedding! I absolutely cannot wait!!!! 3. The last weekend in October, I will be in Ohio for my best friend from college (Nicole’s) birthday. I excited for what’s to come, I just wish I had my husband by my side!

As for the Army: SIGH. I DID finally get switched back to day shift (for a month, but I’ll take what I can get at this point!). However, the Labor and Delivery course in December is not looking great; My leadership has been slow to process paperwork and they are even slower to respond to emails regarding the subject. With that being said, I’m hoping to PCS (Permanent Change of Station) to Fort Campbell as soon as possible, as I want to start looking at houses and getting ready for Uriah’s return. I really enjoy life in Tennessee and I know I would have more of a support system down there, as there are many wives with deployed husbands that I could relate to. I’m hoping to know more in the upcoming weeks, but I guess I will just have to wait and see! Until then, I am just enjoying the once in a lifetime opportunity I have to work with the amazing patients on my floor.

As I finally wrap this up, I just ask again that you pray for Uriah and I thank you again for the support you have already shown us both. I hope to see you all next weekend! Until next time…

September 11, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

love is a beautiful thing. 8.13.12

WOW! Phil Vassar was right, “Love is a Beautiful Thing!” ….And so was the person who began the cliche, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

Since last time, things have been better than I ever could have imagined (and time has gone faster than I could ever believe!). The weekend after I wrote my last post, I flew down to Tennessee to spend the weekend with Uriah. Although we didn’t do much, it was amazing to have yet another relaxing weekend with him, watching the Olympics (GO USA!) and enjoying each other’s company. I unfortunately had to return back to work Sunday morning, but luckily, he was coming back to Maryland with me the following Wednesday to stay through the weekend. Again, another perfect weekend with the love of my life. And again, although we spent a good portion of our time sleeping (I’m still on night shift), we were also able to get out to the movies, go shopping, and spend one evening bowling, which was a blast! Crazy to know that when he left that Sunday, we were already five days deep into August; See, time flies!

Thankfully, only four days later we would again see each other in Ohio, where we would meet up for what was to be an absolutely AMAZING weekend with some of the best friends a couple could ever ask for! So after the short work week, I flew to Ohio from Maryland on Thursday morning while Uriah drive to Ohio from Tennessee that same day. Once I got there, I had a great dinner with my mom and grandma, something I haven’t gotten to do for awhile. It was so nice to be able to catch up with them both and spend a nice evening together before the craziness of the weekend began. After dinner, I headed up to hang out with the Bride and Groom to be (Nicole and Beau, of course!), where Uriah would later meet up with us; We finished some decorations for the wedding, enjoyed the company of her family, and finished the night be going to our old college country bar, Nyoh’s. Although it was jam packed, mostly with girls that had far too little clothes on for my liking, Uriah, Beau, Nicole and I had a blast reuniting and catching up. After all, it was their last night OUT before they would be MARRIED! Yes, Love is a Beautiful Thing!

The next day, Friday, Nicole had planned for her family and I to go to the spa before the rehearsal dinner while Uriah and Beau planned to hang out and run a few last minute errands for the wedding. So Nicole, her mom and sister, aunt and two cousins, and myself headed up to Polaris to get pampered: Woohoo!! Each of us got a manicure, pedicure, and massage, all while drinking mimosas and simply enjoying a relaxing day before the chaos of the big day. And let me tell you, it was wonderful. (Note to self: I need to do this more often!). After the spa, we all headed to The Blackwell, where the wedding was to be held, ran through a wedding rehearsal, then quickly moved to Buca Di Beppo for a delicious Italian dinner. Not long after dinner, we all hit the sack (I, especially, was exhausted from working nights; My poor body is so confused!). What a perfect day!

Then, THE BIG DAY finally arrived!!! It was finally wedding day for my two best friends! First stop: breakfast and coffee. (The choice was simple: Brueggers and Starbucks all around). Then, before we knew it, the hair dressers were there and it was time to get ready! With mimosas in hand again, we were all slowly but surely getting our hair and makeup done and eventually getting dressed. With some minor mishaps and one big explosion that later blew over, things went very well and we were all getting extremely excited to see Nicole walk down the aisle to marry her best friend. It was such an honor to be able to spend such a special weekend with my best friend and I am completely flattered that I was able to return the favor and be a part of a wedding that was so near and dear to my heart. It was truly amazing to see my two best friends come together as one and take vows to spend the rest of their lives together. It was truly a day that I will forever cherish and never forget, and for that, I thank them both: Thank you Beau and Nicole!

After a beautiful ceremony, lots of fun pictures, and a delicious dinner, we all danced (and drank!) the night away. The wedding and ceremony were both a complete BLAST and I can truly say (aside from my own, just because I’m biased!) that it was the best wedding I have ever attended! What a great night to see such a wonderful, happy couple seal their love with marriage vows. I can’t say it enough, LOVE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING!!! 

The next morning, Uriah and I had a nice brunch with the newlyweds before taking off to visit Uriah’s family. Turns out, Uriah’s cousin got married the same day Nicole and Beau did, so we couldn’t attend. However, his family always has get togethers the day after weddings so the family, including those from out of town, are able to spend some extra time together before everyone flies home. So, Uriah and I headed to the get together for awhile, which was a lot of fun. We got to see family he hasn’t seen since our wedding (or before!), we got some a great lunch, and we even dominated corn hole! Finally, the day came to an end and Uriah had to head back to Tennessee and I had to get ready to go back to Maryland the next morning. What an absolutely perfect weekend! 

After the wonderful wedding weekend, I headed home where the reality of work and real life once again smacked me in the face. I arrived in maryland on Monday afternoon, and worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. OUCH. Luckily, I have tonight off, and even more luckily, Uriah is on his way to me as we speak!!! Although I will have to continue working, Uriah was able to take a week of leave to come visit me, which is amazing! (We thought he would only be here this weekend!). We will both be in Maryland until Friday, when we will go back to Ohio for his going away party next weekend. I totally cannot wait to be back in Ohio again; I miss it so much. Plus it will be nice to see both of our families and friends and spend a little bit of time with them before Uriah leaves.

Okay,  so clearly I’ve been busy (when am I not?). It is so nice to have so many events and trips planned to keep me occupied and distracted from this upcoming deployment. However, do not let me fool you: I have NOT forgotten that Uriah will be gone for nine months. With that being said, please, if you have the time, take a few minutes to pray for the both of us as we set out on this difficult journey. I know there is nothing in this world that is strong enough to break us, but you know, prayers never hurt :). We appreciate all of the support we have already gotten and that we will continue to get, it means the world to us! Thanks again for keeping us in mind!

On that note, it is time for me to go pick Uriah up from the airport (YAY!), so I am going to head out. More updates on the Army, work, and my future plans on the next post (after all, it is still unclear anyways!). Until next time…. :)

August 17, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

reality check. 7.24.12

Don’t let the title fool you, things have been going great! So great, in fact, that returning to work after SEVENTEEN glorious days of leave was a reality that was unbelievably hard to face. I felt like the tiny little fly buzzing around the house getting smacked by the 300 pound man with the electric fly swatter. Ouch.

I believe last time I left off just before Uriah came to visit me on his pre-deployment leave. He came to DC while I was finishing my four remaining shifts before my leave and then we both packed up and headed home to Ohio. Let me tell you, I have never been so excited to be back in the Midwest, seeing green grass, real trees, and a beautiful sunset. Maryland is lacking in all of the above, plus more. I truly miss being able to escape from the city in minutes and enjoy a nice drive on a back country road, another thing Maryland does not offer. Anyways, Ohio does and I fully embraced every second of it!

Anyways, Uriah and I drove to Ohio for the weekend, where we spent most of our time with his family up north in Bellville. Saturday afternoon I took a joy ride up to Lake Erie (Port Clinton area) to meet up with my parents for a nice, relaxing day on the water with the wave runners and boats and for a delicious cookout, complete with flat iron steak, corn on the cob, ribs, chicken, potatoes, and rolls: YUM! After a wonderful day up at the lake, I met Uriah and his family back in Bellville for another night.

After the weekend, Uriah and I headed to Pensacola, Florida. Since we haven’t gotten a chance to take our dream honeymoon (or any honeymoon at all!), we decided to at least go on one vacation together before he deploys in the next couple of months. I am SO glad we did! It was so amazing to be able to spend some one on one time with my husband without having to worry about waking up for work, squeezing in time for friends and family at home, and wondering when the time we will see each other might be. It was a much needed, relaxing trip, not to mention fun and beautiful! We were able to go snorkeling everyday, we rented scooters one afternoon, Uriah got his seafood fix for the year, I got a nice tan, and we enjoyed every second of the Gulf Coast. It was so nice to spend every morning on the beach (with white sand, clear waters, and dolphins almost every morning!) and every evening snuggling together. Seriously, I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation with a better man! 

After Florida, we came back to Ohio for another weekend before Uriah had to go back to work at Fort Campbell. That weekend, we hung out with some old high school friends and our best friends from college (thanks for coming out, Beau, Nicole, Fran, Elise, and company!). It was awesome to see them again and hanging out with them is always a bittersweet reminder of how much I miss home. After going out downtown, Uriah and I headed back to Bellville to spend the last couple of days with his family. Monday morning, we made the drive back to Tennessee, and although Uriah had to work during the week, we continued to cherish every second we spent together, exhausted or not.

Before I knew it, the week was over, and it was time to head back to Ohio for one last hurrah before my leave quickly came to an end. Because I was going back north to celebrate Nicole’s bachelorette party, Uriah came with me to take Beau out for one of his last nights as a bachelor. Needless to say, having company on the drive was nice, but being able to spend one last weekend with my husband was even better . :)

While the boys went downtown to party, we ended up having the bachelorette party at a cabin in Hocking Hills, which was fantastic! It was a nice little cabin with a kitchen and a hot tub and just enough beds to fit everyone, which was just what we needed! Aside from a few petty people and a minor mishap or two (I refuse to get into it.), the party was a blast and I think, for the most part, everyone had a good time. I was honored to be able to plan such an important party for my best friend, and I am even more honored to be a part of their big day next month. I cannot believe how fast the wedding is approaching and I am so excited to be able to celebrate their love and commitment together on what I know will be a beautiful day! I am so happy for you, Beau and Nicole, you are two great people who truly deserve each other! Uriah and I love you guys!

Well, SMACK. <<There it is, that reality check I was talking about earlier. Seventeen days of pure bliss ended so, so, so fast. Until this point, Uriah and I had never been able to spend more than a week together. Until this point, I had not been able to take more than a weekend off of work. Until this point, Uriah and I had not gone on a vacation as a married couple. I could go on and on (but for your sake, I won’t). Clearly, this leave was much needed, and I am very thankful for the wonderful times I had while I was away, but I was definitely very sad to return to the concrete jungle of Maryland and the chaos of work.

Right now (and probably for the next couple of months), I am working night shift. I typically don’t mind night shift, as it is usually calmer and less stressful, but it is making things very difficult when it comes to seeing Uriah before he leaves. Despite the fact that I may very well become a zombie when we are visiting and we both might go broke in the process, we are making every last attempt to spend any amount of time together. This weekend, I will be visiting him in Tennessee (I get off Thursday morning and fly straight to him, then come back Sunday afternoon and work 12 hours Sunday night; See what I mean, I might become a zombie?). The following weekend, Uriah will be coming to Maryland to visit (although I work most of the weekend). The next weekend is Nicole and Beau’s wedding, so we will both be spending time together in Ohio, celebrating their big day (YAY!). After that, Uriah will come back to Maryland for the next weekend (again, I will be working most of the weekend). The last weekend in August, we will again be going home for Uriah’s going away party in Bellville, and the first weekend in September we will be together one last time. While the cost of flights (and gas) is outrageous and our sleep might be non-existant, we have both agreed that any time we get to spend together is worth anything and everything. I wholeheartedly know I will not regret time nor money I have and will spend to be able to spend just one more minute with the man I love.

Uriah will deploy in early September and after a nine month deployment, he should be arriving back in the states sometime in June of 2013. As I have said many times before, these nine months certainly will not be easy, but we both know nothing can break us. This deployment is just another bump in the road, one that we will undoubtedly get over. Prayers are welcome, both to keep Uriah and his men safe, as well as to keep our relationship strong. Thank you in advance :).

During this deployment, I have several things I’m hoping will keep me busy and distracted. First, I’m still hoping to get into the Labor and Delivery Course in Hawaii form December to April (PLEASE PRAY FOR ME! SEATS ARE FILLING UP FAST AND MY LEADERSHIP IS BEING VERY STUBBORN!). If I am unable to slide into the class, I am still hoping to move out of Maryland and down to Fort Campbell, so I can be there when Uriah returns from Afghanistan. I also plan of keeping myself busy by sending lots of care packages and love to the other side of the world :).

Anyways, that’s a (not so fast) snapshot of what’s going on in my life right now. Obviously, the next month and a half is going to be incredibly busy and filled with a ridiculous amount of travel, which I suppose is not much different than my life over the past year. Other than that, I continue to bust my hiney to take care of America’s heroes at work, work hard at keeping in touch with my friends and family at home, and dream of the days when I can live with my husband! Hopefully someday I will make it home and be able to see those I haven’t seen in awhile, but until then, I hope you understand. I love and miss you all!! Xoxo :)

July 24, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

just another day in paradise. 6.20.12

LIFE. IS. GOOD. Okay, I lied. Life is AMAZING! Things have been absolutely wonderful lately (and of course, busy as always!).

Where to start!?! Let’s see. Since the last time I posted, Uriah and I were fortunate enough to spend a significant amount of time together. He flew into Maryland to see me on  Wednesday, May 30th (of course, I was still working nights, but he came to work with me and hung with the best of us for awhile…what a trooper!). After I got off work on that Friday morning, we drove to Ohio for the weekend, which was a blast, as usual. We spent Friday in Bellville with his family and it was a PACKED house! (His parents, sister, grandma, three cousins, aunt, uncle, and us were all there). We had a delicious dinner and were able to catch up and relax for awhile, which was long overdue. Saturday morning we went to the farm where Uriah and his brother, Aaron, used to work and visited with the owners, Lisa and Wayne for awhile.. another long overdue visit! After the farm, we headed to Columbus to meet up with my parents and Molly (who was in town from New Mexico–check her blog for details!) and head to Conner’s graduation party. It is so hard to believe she’s already going to college, I feel OLD!!! I know she will do great, and it was so awesome to see her follow in my footsteps as an ROTC cadet at Capital University. I feel honored! The party was great and it was nice seeing lots of people I haven’t seen in a very long time! That night, Molly, Uriah and I relived old college times at the Zig then stumbled home to pass out. After a delicious Sunday morning breakfast (daddy’s french toast!), Grandma came over for a nice family cookout before Uriah and I headed back to Maryland for work on Monday. Although it was tough to get in the car and leave “home,” it was a FANTASTIC weekend; Uriah and I sure made the most of every second we spent there!

I worked that Monday and Tuesday (days!), then Tuesday night after work, Uriah and I flew back to his apartment in Tennessee. It was so nice to be able to relax with him for a few days before I left for CMAfest in Nashville with the girls (more about this later!). Even BETTER, when we got back from CMAfest on Monday, June 11, I was able to go BACK to Uriah’s and spend the rest of the week with him before flying back home to Maryland this past Saturday (Uriah’s 24th birthday)! (Spending this much time together is a foreign concept to us anymore–we have been separated since last May and had only seen each other for a total of 21 days since we got married in December!). Anyways, we spent the week relaxing at the pool, watching the NBA playoffs, and going fishing. It was the best week I had in a very long time! I feel so blessed to have spent two and a half weeks together! I love you BIGGEST, Uriah!

Okay, CMAfest. For those of you who don’t know (I’m SURE you do if you’ve ever looked at my Facebook page in the month of June), CMAfest is a four day outdoor country concert in Nashville, Tennessee. Over one hundred country artists, including many HUGE names, make an appearance and it is always an amazing time! This was my fourth year going and it was no different! Molly and Nicole picked me up from Uriah’s apartment on Thursday morning (and dropped Nicole’s fiance, Beau, off to give Uriah some company for the weekend!) and the girls and I headed to Nashville. Oh, I forgot to tell you, it’s always a girls weekend, so we kept it that way again this year. Anyways, Molly, Nicole and I met up with some friends we made last year from New Jersey, and had a freaking BLAST! It was the perfect combination of summer weather, great country music, and lots of alcohol. My liver was screaming and my voice was lost, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything; CMAfest is something I have looked forward to every year since we started going in 2009, and I’m already counting down the days until next year! LOVE IT!

Army. Oh, Army. Since the last post, I have graduated CNTP (Clinical Nurse Transition Program-a six month program to help get new nurses oriented to the floor and comfortable working with patients). This isn’t a huge accomplishment, but it’s a relief to have it off of my shoulders so I can move on to bigger and better things. As I’ve said in my last couple of posts, I’m trying to either deploy (while Uriah is deployed) or go to the Labor and Delivery course in Hawaii so I can eventually get transitioned to Fort Campbell to live with Uriah. (Those are my bigger and better things). My leadership on the floor at the hospital is changing, so I’m hoping I will be able to sit down and talk with the new leadership and discuss my goals here soon. As always, the Army is a waiting game, so I will keep you posted as best I can on this one. :)

Aside from the politics of the Army, work is still going great. The patient population I’m working with couldn’t be better and everyday that I leave the hospital, I feel a huge sense of fulfillment. The brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have my heart and taking care of them is SO rewarding! My parents have always told me that the most important thing about a career is going into work happy. I’ve never been more convinced! 

So between spending time with Uriah, seeing family and friends in Ohio, and attending my fourth CMAfest, life has truly been fabulous! And just when I thought “things can’t get better,” I looked at the three weeks that lie ahead of me. I know things can AND WILL get better! I have so much to look forward to between now and the middle of July, and I just know it will be great!

Snapshot of my next three weeks (Uriah will be on pre-deployment leave and the leadership on my floor was kind enough to allow me to have leave at the same time):

Saturday, June 23 : Uriah flies into Maryland to stay with me while I finish out three shifts prior to leave.

Thursday, June 28: Uriah and I drive to Ohio after I work. We will stay in Bellville and Columbus for the weekend.

Monday, July 2: Uriah and I fly to Florida for our “honeymoon” (since we didn’t get one after the wedding) for a week!

Friday, July 6: We return to Ohio to spend one last weekend with the family.

Monday, July 9: Uriah and I drive to Tennessee, as he will return to work and I will stay with him for the week.

Friday, Jul 13: I will drive back to Ohio for Nicole’s Bachelorette Party for the weekend!

WOW. Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than that!!! :) It’s so nice to finally be getting out of the house and out of Maryland to spend some time socializing with my husband, my family, and my friends! I’ve missed them all so much since I’ve left Ohio and it’s great to be catching up with everyone again! It’s especially nice to be able to spend a good bit of time with Uriah, since he will be deploying for nine months in September (prayers, please!). Although it will be hard, it’s just one more speed bump in the road we call our marriage. (I don’t like to get too depressing on this thing, because who REALLY wants to hear negativity?! So I promise, I’ll keep it as positive as possible!) Anyways, as I’ve said again and again, things have been pretty stellar the last couple of weeks and I just know the next three weeks will be even better! LIFE IS GOOD

Enjoy a few pics from all of the traveling! Love and miss y’all! :)

June 20, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

good to go. 5.29.12

The title gets it’s name from Jason Aldean’s, “Good to Go,” an amazing song that so perfectly describes my life, especially right now!

I have an all-American mom and dad, some of the coolest friends you could ever have, found love I thought I’d never find, sometimes I can’t believe this life is mine. And I’m not planning on leaving yet, but the truth is, you just never know. And if this is as good as it gets, man I think I’m good to go.” So true, I’ve been blessed! 

Anyways! Life, as always, has been busy, but wonderful since the last post.

As far as my love life is concerned, Uriah and I have been great, as always (boy, I am lucky to have him!). May 22nd marked one year since Uriah and I have been separated, a day that left me with a mixed mess of emotion. Although expected anything different, I am thrilled to say that a year of enduring a long distance relationship, and now a long distance marriage, has not fazed us. In no way am I saying it has been easy, because there have been definite struggles and slight bumps in the road; Tears have fallen and angry words yelled, but the fact is, nothing can shake the love we share. The next year will bring more hardships and require more perseverance as Uriah will be deploying to Afghanistan in September, but I know we are both up for this next challenge, and there’s not a single doubt in my mind that we will overcome this one, too. In the end, I know we will eventually be together, and I couldn’t think of anything or anyone more worth the wait!

Since the last post, I was fortunate enough to take a trip down to Georgia and visit with my sister for a night, then help Uriah move from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Fort Campbell, which is on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. Fort Campbell is beautiful and I can definitely see Uriah and I loving life there, once I am able to live with him, of course! On the way up to Tennessee, we stopped in north Georgia and camped atop Mount Yonah (the same mountain Uriah trained on at Ranger School). It was beautiful! We made bratwurst over a homemade fire, watched the sun set, and enjoyed the peaceful view together, without anyone else around. While I came out of the trip with over 35 mosquito bites, it was truly a wonderful day (and a wonderful weekend) with the love of my life! 

Life at Walter Reed has not changed either; I’m still working nights and still enjoying working with the wounded warriors. They are truly an inspiration and constant reminder of how lucky I really am. Every day I am amazed at their strength, courage, attitude, and patriotism and they are the definition of the ultimate American hero. I am honored to wear the same uniform as these young men and women and I consider myself blessed to be able to serve them day in and day out. Memorial Day is a holiday in which we, as citizens of the United States of America, are supposed to remember the fallen and remember those who have put their lives on the line for our country each and every day. Thankfully, I have the luxury of having that reminder every time I come to work. 

The Army is also the same old, same old. I am still trying to find a way to be stationed with Uriah when he gets home from deployment in April or May of 2013 and it seems like the Army is still trying to find every way to prevent it. Currently, I am researching units and Combat Support Hospitals I could possibly deploy with, working on my paperwork for the Labor and Delivery course, and bothering the hell out of my chain of command. If there’s one thing I have already learned in the Army, it’s that you have to stand up for yourself (over and over again) to get anything done! OH! I guess I can throw in one positive to the Army life: May 7th officially marked my one year point in the Army! :)

Then there’s my social life, *sigh*. (Or, in my case, my not-so-social life). Between working nights and traveling back and forth to see Uriah, I haven’t gotten a chance to get out or to see my friends much. I very regretfully had to miss one of my best friend from high school’s wedding (Sorry, Leah! You were a beautiful bride, as I knew you would be!), my best friend from college (and the bride-to-be who’s wedding I just happen to be in), Nicole’s bridal shower, and one of my closest cousin’s graduation party. There’s no other way to put it, it SUCKS, but such is life in the Army. I’m learning quickly that I will be making a great deal of sacrifices over the next three years; I’m sorry in advance for those who are hurt by these sacrifices.

I have had a few positive highlights to my “social” life, however! Like I said earlier, I was able to spend one of my nights in Georgia with my sister. It was so nice to be able to talk to her, even if it mostly consisted of us venting to each other about this and that. It’s good to have a listening ear, and although I hate to say it, it’s good to know that I’m not alone when it comes to life’s frustrations and hardships. Thank you, Molly, for being my listening ear! Love you big! Also, one day at work I got an unexpected text from my “Aunt” Lish, who happened to be in town. After work, we met up for a nice dinner in downtown. It was amazing to see her and to get to spend some one on one time with her!! Love you big, too! Lastly, I was able to meet up with some friends from work last night; It was great to get out of the house and spend some time getting to know them a little better; Hopefully we can all get together again soon! :)

Thankfully, my social life should be looking up over the next couple of months, beginning tomorrow! I have LOTS to look forward to! Tomorrow, Uriah comes to Maryland two days (he has ten days of permissive TDY-yay!). Friday morning, we are driving to Ohio for the weekend. Friday night we will stay in Bellville with his family, Saturday afternoon we will go to Conner’s graduation party, and Saturday night I’m sure will be filled with some sort of ridiculous trouble (Note: Molly, Nicole, Beau, Uriah, and I will all be in town. Definite trouble). Sunday we will, unfortunately, drive back to Maryland. Monday, I graduate the Clinical Nurse Transition Program (I will officially be considered a “Big Girl” by the Army Nurse Corps), which will be followed by a nice cook out at one of my graduating peers houses. Tuesday, I work a 12 hour shift, then Uriah and I will fly to Tennessee to finish his permissive TDY and to begin my leave (YAY!). The second weekend in June, Molly, Nicole and I will head to Nashville for our annual trip to CMAfest while Uriah, his brother Aaron, and Beau will  hang out in Fort Campbell. Finally, after CMAfest, I will get to spend one more week with Uriah before returning to work on Sunday, June 17th. PLUS, there’s a BONUS! Uriah will get his block leave at the end of June/beginning of July and my leave for that time period ALSO got approved (I totally thought it would get shut down).

HOLY COW! I told you I had a lot to look forward to! It’s crazy to think that in the next month and a half, Uriah and I will get to spend more time together than we’ve gotten in the last year. Wow! PLUS, in the next month and a half, I will have more of a social life than I’ve had the entire time I’ve been in Maryland. AMAZING! I am literally counting down the hours until tomorrow at 4:10pm, when Uriah steps off of the plane and the month and a half long adventure begins!

Life is good, friends. Love, love, love you all and I hope to see you sometime over the next month and a half! XOXO! :)

May 29, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

worth the wait. 5.1.12.

OH MY GOSH!!!!! It’s been longer than usual and believe it or not, things have been crazier than usual! I don’t even know where to begin!! Rather than giving my usual update with how things have been day after day, week after week, I’ll break it down into four simple categories (you can thank me later, this should significantly condense things:)): LOVE LIFE, WORK LIF, ARMY LIFE, SOCIAL LIFE . Ready, set, go!

LOVE LIFE: Well for starters, it couldn’t be better. When you marry the kind of guy I married, you just can’t ask for anything more! Anyways, since the last time I wrote, Uriah has successfully passed Mountain Phase AND Florida Phase of Ranger School and therefore graduated Ranger School on April 27th. It’s officially official: 2LT URIAH LANDOLL, RANGER!!!!! Although I know it wasn’t easy (It wasn’t easy for me, I can’t imagine how it was for him!), and he was deprived of the most basic elements of life for three months (yes, this means food and sleep, not just a cell phone or a computer), HE DID IT!!!! There was never a doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t make it, but let me tell you that four minute phone call on Monday, April 23rd telling me he passed was amazing!!!! (Especially after waiting up for about 48 hours to hear those words!). His strength and determination inspire me and I am SO glad that all of his hard work paid off! Proud wifey!! :)

I was fortunate enough to be able to head down to Georgia for Uriah’s Ranger School Graduation (Good thing, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!). Wednesday morning, my wonderful coworkers covered my patients at the end of shift so I could slide out early, around 430 am and head to the airport. I caught the 6 am flight to Atlanta and was in Columbus, GA around noon. I caught word that the graduating class was supposed to get pass at 1 pm, so I headed over to Camp Rogers to surprise Uriah by picking him up! (He didn’t think I knew about the pass, PLUS he thought I wasn’t supposed to get there until 3 or 4 pm). Sure enough, they got out around 1 pm (and didn’t have to be back until 10 pm — HOLY COW A WHOLE NINE HOURS!), and boy was he surprised! When we saw each other, it was pure bliss. AMAZING! We were able to spend the day together, hanging around the house, grabbing a bite to eat, and just relaxing. It was so unbelievably perfect just to be together again! Thursday, Uriah’s family showed up and he had another pass (only six hours this time), so we got some dinner (and dessert, of course!) and dropped him back off so we could all gear up for graduation the next morning. Then finally, it was here…the day we’d all been waiting for: GRADUATION! We got there super early (Also a good thing, the line was crazy within an hour!) and were able to get great seats for the graduation. Prior to graduation, Ranger Training Brigade put on a show called “Rangers In Action,” where Ranger Instructors show the many skills and techniques they teach Ranger students during Ranger School. Everything from rappelling techniques, water confidence skills, combatives, and air assault tactics were put on display for all of the audience to see. It was pretty cool if I may say so, myself! After the Rangers In Action, the graduation was short and sweet (just how I like it!). I even got to pin on Uriah’s Ranger Tab. Let me tell you, I was honored that he chose me!! It was such an important course in his career and such a major accomplishment that I could not have been more excited to do something so special for him! Again, proud wifey!! :) After graduation, Uriah, his family, and I were able to grab some lunch and check out the National Infantry Museum before hitting the hay. Saturday morning, we grabbed a quick breakfast, then it was all over too soon when I had to fly back to work. But honestly, I could not have asked for a better weekend! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!!! 

Again, a HUGE congratulations to Uriah for receiving his Ranger Tab!!!! So proud of you, Uriah!!!! :D 

Next up: WORK LIFE. Work has been fabulous, aside from the fact that my body is ridiculously confused! In six weeks, I switched back and forth from days to nights SIX times! It was insane! Now that I am settled in to nights until the end of May, things have been getting better, it was just a little crazy there for awhile! My patients are still doing great, they never cease to amaze me with their strength and their positivity. Seeing them progress is truly the most fulfilling and rewarding part of my job. I know working on this wounded warrior floor is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m treating it as such; These young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines will always have a special place in my heart.

Check out a video of one of our patients that was just recently posted (I’m even in it! I’m in one of the pictures!). This guy is truly an inspiration! http://www.wbir.com/video/1614551071001/1/Wounded-Warrior-Maryville-soldier-recovers-at-Walter-Reed

Prayer Request: As the spring season continues and transitions into summer, the fighting tends to increase. We have already seen this, as the medical evacuations have been rolling in more frequently. Please pray for these wounded warriors, their families, and their long road to recovery! Support by volunteering or donating can be done through the Wounded Warrior Project! :)

ARMY LIFE. One “word”: Ugh. Well, now that Uriah is done with Ranger School, he will be heading to Fort Campbell, Kentucky fairly soon. (Yay for him!!!!). Unfortunately, we have been told that I am not eligible to PCS (Permanent Change of Station) with him until at least November, which is frustrating because his unit is deploying in August, not to return until April of 2013. So it is looking like another year of being separated for us. We kind of expected this, but it is definitely a BUMMER! We are currently trying to look at our options in order to help us get through this year and set us up for success in the future. Some of these options include me deploying around the same time (this way, we can return around the same time and not have to worry about my deploying as soon as he gets home), me taking a specialty course (Labor and Delivery, perhaps!) and then moving to Fort Campbell (the course is 16 weeks long and is in Hawaii; I would be okay with spending half of his deployment in paradise!), or me just moving to Fort Campbell in November or December and waiting for his arrival home. All of these options are “best case scenarios,” so we are trying to work with our Chain of Command to get it figured out. (Again, please pray for us!!). I’ll tell ya, Army life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!! But we’re both in it together, and whatever happens, happens for a reason! We will see where this winding road will lead! Updates to come on this one. :)

And last (yes, this is last for a reason), but not least: SOCIAL LIFE. This is last because this is what I have the least time for, unfortunately! Since the last post, I have actually gotten some nice social time in, however! The first week of April, Conner (basically my younger sister) was able to visit from Ohio, and let me tell you, it was SO nice to have some company over here in Maryland! We were able to explore quite a bit and I can’t speak for her, but I had a blast! We went to Annapolis for a night (BEAUTIFUL city!), which was a good time with great weather! Plus we got to explore the Naval Academy base, which was pretty cool, too. We  also got to spend Easter together, which we made a nice feast of steak, homemade macaroni and cheese, steamed vegetables, rolls, and cookies. YUM! Lastly, we got to spend some time in downtown Washington DC, which was awesome! We went to nearly every monument and even squeezed in time for a museum! OH! And we went to Georgetown Cupcakes (the bakery from the show DC Cupcakes on TLC). I’m not one for cake or cupcakes, but these babies were DELICIOUS!!! Haha! Anyways, in the five days she was here, we got to do a lot, and even though she missed her flight on the way home (OOPS :)), we both had an awesome time!! THEN, about a week after she left (the weekend before Uriah’s Ranger School graduation), I was fortunate enough to be able to go home. I had an eight our day on Thursday and didn’t have to be back at work until Monday night, so I had a nice, long weekend to spend in Ohio! And let me tell you, it was much needed! It was so nice to see my parents (briefly, haha) and spend some time with my two best friends Nicole and Beau! Thursday night we met up with Anna, Fran, and Eric (from high school), and as always it was awesome seeing them! Friday, I relaxed most of the day, then got dinner with Melissa and Jen at Roosters, then hung out with Nicole some that night. Saturday I helped Nicole and Beau get ready for their LAST Military Ball (in ROTC, at least!), and they both looked AMAZING!!!! I haven’t told them this yet, but on my way home from helping them get ready, I was in tears; seeing them all dressed up made me so excited for their wedding and I am so excited to share in such a special day in their lives in just a few short months!!!!! After they headed to the ball, I headed up to Polaris and met up with Uriah’s cousin Ellen for dinner! It was so, so, so nice seeing her, and I wish we lived closer! I really miss getting together and spending time with her and I am so glad she was free and made some time for me while I was home! :). Later that night, Nicole, Beau and I went out to the Big Bang, and let’s just say I was feeling rough the next day! (I guess that’s what happens when you only drink once a month. Whew!!!). Anyways, Monday I went back home feeling refreshed and ready to see Uriah! (I would have gone stir crazy if I would have stayed in Maryland by myself waiting for his precious little phone call!). Anyways, I had a blast in Ohio, as always and it was SO awesome to be able to spend time with so many different friends and family! :)

Okay, so maybe I was wrong. I thought these categories would shorten this thing, but clearly it didn’t make much of a difference! As I say every time, I won’t wait so long to do this next time! (Yeah, right). Anyways, a lot has happened and I have a lot to look forward to over the next month or so! This weekend, Uriah will be visiting. (This weekend Beau will also be getting his commission as a Second Lieutenant into the United States Army and Beau and Nicole will both be graduating from Capital University with a BSN and getting pinned as a graduating nurse!!!! Congrats to them both, Uriah and I are really bummed we have to miss it! We love you guys!!!!!). The third weekend in May, I will be visiting Uriah down in Georgia and helping him move to Fort Campbell, Kentucky (and hopefully we will even get to spend a night or so in Nashville!). Uriah will also have a four day weekend for Memorial Day, so hopefully we will be able to see each other again then! Then, in the beginning of June, I plan on going home to Ohio for Conner’s graduation party (She’s growing up!), graduating my Clinical Nurse Transition Program, and finally making the annual trip to Nashville for CMAFest (I. CANNOT. WAIT.)!!!! Lots of exciting things to look forward to, and I will do my best to keep you all updated more frequently than I have been!! Love and miss you all!!! XOXOX

(Also, see Facebook for more pictures, but here are a few from Uriah’s graduation!)

May 1, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

learning the distance. 3.21.12

Well, it’s about that time… I haven’t written in here for a month, so you know the drill: I’ll promise to write more often, I’ll write a novel and apologize about it, then in another month, we will repeat. So here it goes! :)

Since returning to Maryland from Ohio towards the end of February, it’s been work, work, work! Although, I must say, work has been amazing lately. I have been learning a lot about time management, delegation, and the job and the art of nursing, itself. I have been fortunate enough to meet a bunch of absolutely amazing people, and I for that, I consider myself incredibly lucky. I know I have gone over this several times before, but I can’t stress it enough: these patients are amazing, one of a kind. They volunteered to fight for our country, deployed in support of the cause, and returned back to the United States less than whole. Not only are they “home” (or, at least, what they will consider home for the next several years with their inpatient stay, outpatient stay, and their rehabilitation), but their attitudes are unremarkable. 

How many people can say they have walked into a room to a 19 year old man, who has no use of his hands because both arms are in splints, is missing both of his legs, has significant damage to his male parts, and can still manage to smile? Not many. What about a 18 year old kid who was saving one of his buddy’s lives, when a grenade exploded five meters from his face and he is still able to joke around, and even laugh a little bit now and then? Again, not many. And these are just TWO examples. Everyday, I see more patients with more extensive injuries, and everyday I am amazed at the strength of these young men and women. These brave Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Seamen are a constant reminder of how blessed I am, as well as a constant reminder of how things could always be worse. Next time you’re having a bad day, just take a look around and remind yourself, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle”. I could go on for days about how inspirational my patients are, but I would honestly never stop! (Unless you see it with your own two eyes, you’ll never understand! On that note, feel free to come by and give these guys a visit if you’re ever in the area, it will change your life, I can promise you that!).

Other than work, I have been miss, miss, missing Uriah! (As usual!). After getting a week to relax, rest and recover, Uriah reinserted into Darby Phase on the first of March. Again, we were back to the non-communicative way of life: no phone, no computer (no Skype), and me writing him letters with him not being able to write me back. VERY  frustrating! BUT, before he left for round two, Uriah and I decided it would be really nice to see each other again before Ranger School graduation, as it was pushed back a little bit. So, after weeks of writing and hearing nothing, I flew down to Georgia in hopes of seeing him on his pass between Darby Phase and Mountain Phase. What an adventure! I flew out Thursday night at 8:20 pm, and arrived in Atlanta at 10:20 pm (five minutes after the shuttle left from Atlanta to Fort Benning). The next shuttle left at 11:15 pm, so after waiting for almost an hour, I hopped on the shuttle. I met a few Army folks on the way down (luckily…I’ll explain later!), so we talked for much of the way, then finally arrived in Columbus, Georgia around 1:00 am. One of the Army guys took me and the other Army guy to Uriah’s apartments (luckily, we were going to the same place, and luckily we didn’t have to call a cab!). We got to Uriah’s apartments around 1:30 am, got the keys to his apartment from his mailbox, but there was one problem. The guy that got dropped off at the same apartment complex couldn’t find the car that had HIS apartment keys (he was also visiting friends at Ranger School, so they left the keys in the car for him). So after some serious searching, we FINALLY found the cars and the keys, and I headed for bed at Uriah’s apartment around 3:30 am. WHEW! I got up at 5:00 am to get ready, get Uriah some breakfast, then head onto Fort Benning’s Post to find Ranger Training Brigade (I knew this would take forever, so I knew I had to leave early… and boy am I glad I did!!). After lots of driving, lots of getting lost, and lots of wrong turns, I FINALLY made it to Ranger Training Brigade, where I waited to see Uriah. AND I DID!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!! He had an 8 hour (which was really more like a 6 hour, because he got out an hour late and we had to leave an hour early to get him there) pass on Friday, and it went SO fast! Even though it was only 8 hours, it was worth every second and every penny just to see him! Boy, did I miss him! We didn’t have tim for much, we mostly just went to the store and picked up a few things he needed, got some lunch and dinner, and spent a little time together in between. Regardless, it was so nice to see him and I’m so glad I was able to go down there, even if it was for such a short time. It was exactly what I needed before he left again for 6 more weeks of no communication! Now, he’s on to Mountain Phase in Dahlonega, Georgia, where I know he will do great! I can’t wait to hear from him! I love you, Uriah and I am SO proud of you!!!

After dropping Uriah off on Friday evening, Molly came and picked me up at Uriah’s place in Columbus, Georgia and took me back to Atlanta with her so we could spend the rest of the weekend together. Friday night, we were both wiped out, so we each had a glass of wine with some basketball on in the background, and then hit the hay (and we actually slept in, woohoo, especially since I didn’t get any sleep the night before!). Saturday, we hung around the house most of the day, then went out for St. Patrick’s Day. We walked to a small bar down the street to catch the Ohio State game (GO BUCKS!), met up with a teacher friend of hers, and had a few drinks. It was a nice little bar and it was a lot of fun! After that, we headed towards downtown to hang out with a few friends she knows, which was also super fun! I’m so glad we got to spend St. Patty’s day together; I really miss being around my sister and I love getting to spend time with her!! Sunday we just hung around the house, recovering. What a perfect weekend!!!! I couldn’t have asked to spend it any better, with my husband and my sister! I love them both SO much!!

Well, now Uriah is back at Ranger School (Mountains) and I’m back in Maryland, so it’s back to the boring life. I’m working a lot, and still trying to keep myself busy and distracted until I can hear from him again in just over two weeks! Other things I have to look forward to bedside hearing from Uriah: POSSIBLY going home next Wednesday-Friday, Conner coming the first week of April for Easter, then hopefully seeing Uriah towards the end of April. I can’t wait! :)

I’m getting super homesick and Uriah-sick, so any texts, calls, emails, or cards are welcome, LOL! I love you all, miss you all, and I can’t wait to see you again (hopefully) soon! Until next time, my friends… :)

PS, sorry no pictures, I’ve been a slacker. Some day I will give you some updates. If you’re desperate, just check Facebook :P

March 21, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

bittersweet. 2.22.12.

Almost three weeks, here we go. Looking like another novel, sorry folks! :)

Well, February has most definitely been better than January (Like I said last time, it could only go up). It’s kept me busy, as always, but it’s absolutely a step up!

Uriah left for Ranger School Sunday, January 29th without any contact or communication with the outside world. Again, Ranger School is a comprised of three week phases, and you must pass each phase to move onto the next. The first three days of the school are the most challenging (and the only exception to the three week rule, as you CAN get sent home after the first three days). I knew since I hadn’t heard from him in those early days, it was a good sign! I wrote (and still am writing) Uriah everyday and have been sending care packages about once a week or so. I was hoping to get a letter or two while he was in Phase One (Darby Phase), but instead I got a call saying he would have to recycle and complete Darby Phase again before moving onto Mountains Phase. He didn’t seem to upset (he did VERY well, ranking in the top 22% of his 15 man squad, but the Ranger Instructors are very unpredictable, a feat the students like to call ‘Ranger Instructor roulette”). So since he knew he did well, his spirits were still high, making it MUCH easier for me to deal with the whole no communication thing better. Because he recycled, he got a pass on Saturday and Sunday (yay, I could actually talk to him!), he has pay phone privileges from 6pm-10pm through this week, and he will get one last pass this weekend before returning to Darby phase. Definitely bittersweet. It’s so great to talk to him and hear his voice, but it’s also hard knowing that in less than a week, it will be back to no communication for 62 more days. The Army is so dang frustrating! I’m thankful for getting to talk to him, but it’s making me miss him even more! (It’s like a tease!). I look forward to his phone calls every night this week, and I dread when we have to hang up. Anyways, I’m so proud of him for going through this awful (lack of sleep and food; he said he would literally fall asleep standing up and he said he would literally think about his next meal as he was finishing his last because he was so hungry), yet very prestigious school! I love him very much and I can’t wait until I can go down to Fort Benning and pin on his Ranger Tab! I love you, Uriah! Hang in there! :)

PS- I just want to make this a known fact: Valentine’s Day was smack dab in the middle of when Uriah was at Ranger School. I just want to make it known that he is the BEST husband in the world! Even without any communication or outside world technology, I still received an adorable card, a bag of chocolates, the most beautiful bouquet of flowers I have ever seen in my life (with my favorite flowers, Lillies!), and a gift card to buy myself some jewelry–I got a pearl ring (his birth month) and a nice watch! Who else can say that their husband did that, even WITHOUT being at Ranger School!? He’s pretty awesome!! Best husband in the world award goes to Uriah Landoll! :)

Like I said before, while he’s been gone, my only goal is to keep myself busy! Work has certainly done that for me! Over the last couple of weeks, I have taken care of some pretty spectacular patients. Again, bittersweet. Like I’ve said before, I am on a wounded warrior floor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, so we are getting many critically injured soldiers from Afghanistan. While it is so sad to see the way some of these soldiers and Marines come back, it is definitely the most rewarding job I could ever ask for. Seeing patients progress over the course of weeks and months is amazing to watch, and knowing I could have been a part of the recovery is very humbling. I can honestly say being a nurse is the best job in the world, but taking care of the patients we have is even more rewarding. I am taking full advantage of everyday I spend here at this hospital, because I know that when I leave, I will never see anything like this again. These guys are an inspiration to me, and working with them is truly an honor.

Along with work keeping me busy, I went home last weekend as well. I flew in Thursday after work, and stayed for the entire weekend. It was such an awesome weekend! During the day on Friday, I got to watch Beau’s little sister Juliette compete in her gymnastics meet, which of course, she won first place! Then I went to dinner with my parents, and finally ended up going to Leah’s (a good friend from high school) bachelorette party. It’s crazy to know that everyone is getting older, getting engaged, and getting married! Anyways, Friday night was a great time with old friends and it was so good to see them all again! Saturday, I went to the Columbus Blue Jacket’s Hockey game and got to sit in the lower bowl (they got destroyed, surprise, surprise!). After the Blue Jackets lost, we stayed to watch the Police versus Fire hockey game. It was a blast as always, and the Fireman won, WOOHOO! Later that night, I hung out with Beau and Nicole and some other Capital folks before heading out to the arena district for some more fun! The next day, I hung around the house before having to fly out Sunday evening. Weekends like these really make me miss Ohio and the people there. I miss my family and my friends back home and I totally wish I could see them more often! One day, hopefully!

The last couple days I have been working, and I will be working again this weekend, so I hope to stay busy while Uriah goes back to Ranger School next week. I miss him so much, but I am so proud of what he is doing! Aside from just keeping myself occupied,  I don’t have any exciting plans for while (which is actually kind of nice!). I will just continue to write Uriah and hope the days go by fast so I can see him and talk to him again soon! (In case you want to write him, which I encourage, Uriah’s address is: 2LT Uriah Landoll/ 4th Ranger Training BN/ Attn: Class 05-12/ 10850 Schneider Road/ Fort Benning, GA 31905.). :)

Well, I tried keeping it as short as possible with as little detail (especially about work) as possible! Thanks for all of the support I have gotten while Uriah’s been away, I appreciate it more than you know! Have a wonderful end of February, and I hope spring comes quickly! Love and miss you all! :)

our last skype session <3


February 22, 2012. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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