I had myself a wonderful memorial day weekend. I jammed it full of different activities so now I feel like I need another weekend to rest up from this one.
On Friday night, when traffic died down, I headed south to meet up with my dad and some family friends to camp for the night and hit the dirt bike trails in the morning. I was a little worried that with all the rain it would make for a less than fun time riding the 25 mile course. I expected mud, mud and more mud. Surprisingly the trails turned out to be awesome! There was some slick spots, but overall it was great. It stopped raining right before we started and then picked back up shortly after we finished. I hadn't rode my bike in almost two years so it was great to be back on it! Bonus: I've owned my riding pants for ten years and they still fit! That's why I'm all smiles with my hands on my hips above. #winning.
Saturday evening I made my way back to Seattle to grab some drinks with a friend. I kept it low key because I was headed north on Sunday morning to meet up with some more friends. We went to the Ski to Sea festival, and hung out for a couple hours and had a beer. The weather was icky so we parked ourselves in the living room afterwards and drank wine and snacked while watching The Silver Linings Playbook. Which I thought was a huge disappointment compared to the book. Monday morning we went out furniture shopping and I purchased a new loveseat. It is exactly what I was looking for so I can't wait til I can pick it up!
The only downside to the weekend was coming home to an angry cat. She's being cranky since she didn't have much company this weekend so she's taking it out on me.
Hooking up with Sami today!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
There's one thing I didn't think two seconds about when preparing for KC's return from Afghanistan. Reintegration. It could be because I am a completely inexperienced Army girlfriend. It could be because I didn't think that anything would change over those seven and a half months (dumb or dumb?!). It could be because I knew this was his fifth time over to Afghanistan and he was fine after that last four, so why would the fifth affect him? It could be because my own excitement of my soldier's return overshadowed what was really occurring over there. All these things and more could be why I didn't think twice about reintegration. I wish that I would have realized that preparing for and getting through a deployment isn't the hardest thing. Sometimes its the lasting results of what your loved ones had to see and do for many months in a country completely incomparable to the country we live in.
KC has been home from Afghanistan for about a week now, and it has been the hardest week of our entire relationship. I struggled with the thought of discussing such a painful part of my life on my blog. A painful time that was supposed to be one of the most joyous times. Do I really want to talk about how I feel like I got hit by a brick wall I didn't even see coming at me? As I pondered my thoughts on the situation I got to thinking. I originally started this blog as a way to document my first deployment as an Army girlfriend. I also created this blog so I could find solace in other military SOs and wives blogs. I think the latter has been what occurs more often, but none the less it should be noted that the importance of talking about struggles is key. Things shouldn't be hidden. I also hope to hear from those who have struggled with reintegration or the after affects of war on their loved ones. I want those who are struggling with it right now to know that you're not alone.
I have a soldier that realizes that things are different right now and that for the first time in 5 deployments, he has been affected and feels a significant change. The things he was exposed to over there were horrible. Things that most people couldn't handle without having a mental and physical break down. I'm fortunate that I have a man that, despite his struggles with all the horrible events that occurred, wants to work through them and do some self discovery so that it doesn't ruin our relationship. This means more time spent apart. This was a tough thing to hear. I think I'm slowly working through it though by looking at things through his eyes. He's been stuck around the same people for over seven months. No alone time. I would go nuts. I know how much I love my alone time so I can't even imagine how much he wants his alone time. He is also a very strong person both mentally and physically. His way of dealing with things is thinking it through and having that time alone to do so. We made a compromise that he can have his alone time, but I still need communication. I need phone calls or texts every few days for my self assurance that he's doing ok, and that he's thinking about me. After we had a phone conversation last night I felt a huge weight come off my shoulders. We made compromises and agreements on certain things. Being on the same page as KC feels so good. Now it is my turn to be patient while he works things out, and be there for him when he needs me. To keep that communication flowing because we both agree that is what is important in a relationship. Especially one that involves a lot of time spent apart because that will always be the situation for us.
"Well, I won't give up on us. Even if the skies get rough, I'm giving you all my love, I'm still looking up and when you're needing your space to do some navigating I'll be here patiently waiting to see what you find"
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
When researching activities to do and sights to see in preparation for my trip to Norway, I came across Frogner Parken. This park is also referred to as the sculpture park or Vigeland Parken to the Norge peeps! The sculpture section in Frogner Parken was all created by the same artist, it covers 80 acres and because of this it is the largest of its kind in the entire world! This clearly stood out to me as the top attraction in the whole country of Norway. The fact that there is no entrance fee makes it that much more enticing to visit, and I'm sure helps drive in the 1-2 million people who visit it annually.
The park is located about 2.5 miles from downtown Oslo, and with the wonderful sun shining almost the entire time I was in Norway I decided to bundle up and make the trek by foot.
At one end of the park you will find a bridge that is lined with statues on both sides engaged in various poses and movements. After you take in all the different emotions occuring in this space you will continue to the other end of the park. This part of the park features statues carved completely in stone. The artist really paid attention to detail and added life like wrinkles, muscle, and fat to each statue. One statue gave me the shivers because the look on his bearded face was so realistic. Some of them are very strange, but the one that is located in the center of them all is to be noted. This one looks similar to a totem pole and was carved out of one solid piece of stone. The intricacy of this statue is amazing. The bodies carved into it are going every which way, and are made up of all different ages. Something that definitely needs a moment or two to admire.