Thursday, October 29, 2009

Old Neilson Revisited

My readers who have been around for a while will remember this post, but for all of you who arrived with the Blog of Note crowd Neilson is a new character that will require an introduction.  You see, I was bored one day and the post in the link above was what came of it.  I wouldn't quite call it a story.  It's just a snippet of someone's life.  Below is another such snippet.  I hope you enjoy it, and I'm anxious to read your responses.  :)

Outside the air was dank and damp. It felt as though fat water droplets were hovering in air too saturated for them to fall through. The sun fought to emerge, but couldn't quite seem to burst through the heavy fog. Bradley hung the gas pump back up, screwed the cap back on the truck's fuel tank, and reopened the cap to grab his wallet.

"I come, Daddy!" his two year old daughter shrieked from the passenger seat. "I come too! I come too!"

He sighed, unbuckled her, and swept her up onto his shoulders. She squealed in delight. Inside the gas station old Neilson, the attendant, was scratching the silver paint off of a lottery ticket.

"Winning anything?" Bradley asked with a grin, slapping a twenty on the counter for the gas.

"Oh," Neilson was startled to find someone waiting. "Fifty cents." He chuckled.

"Does the wife know you're still buying those?"

"Ah, what she doesn't know won't do any harm." The whole town knew how Karen felt about Neilson's lottery tickets. Anytime she caught him with a scratch off she launched into an all too familiar speech about the importance of what she called "responsible finances." Neilson counted out the change and held it out to the other man.

"Dollars? Daddy, I have dollars?" the little girl asked. Neilson raised an eyebrow at Bradley.

Her father sighed. "Sure, sweetie, you can have the dollars." Neilson handed two bills to the little girl, the change to her father. "Have a good one, Neilson."

"Yeah, you too," the old man replied as Bradley turned to leave. "And, Brad?" he halted him, "Don't mention it to Karen, alright?"

"Sure thing, Neilson. Are you gonna wave 'bye-bye' Kenzie?" The little girl shook her hand vigorously at the old man.

Neilson watched as the man walked back across the parking lot with his daughter. When they were half way back, a blond woman Neilson didn't recognize stopped Bradley to talk, looking wistfully at his daughter. Before she left she leaned up on her tip-toes to kiss his cheek, letting her lips linger just a little too long. Kenzie waved 'bye-bye' then, and the adults parted ways.

Neilson wondered if Kenzie was old enough to keep a secret.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Month One in Review:

Today it has been exactly one month since Kyle left.  Honestly, it's difficult to believe it has actually been this long.  I have been unbelievably busy lately, and time is flying.  I'm more than grateful for that.  I can remember distinctly the first month of our last separation.  That one didn't pass nearly as quickly.  It was torture during every second.  A lot has changed since then though, and the changes have made this so much easier.

This time I don't feel like we're being deliberately tested.  Kyle and I have made it through our first separation in tact, and what's more, we emerged even stronger on the other side.  From the moment we were reunited, most of my fears about what strain his career would put on our relationship have disappeared.  I feel like we've proven that love really is enough to keep us together through whatever may come.

Distance is also much less daunting now that we're engaged.  I didn't expect the difference it made in my attitude, but it really has been altered tremendously.  Any time I become overwhelmed by how long we've been apart I catch sight of a certain sparkling thing on my finger, and I'm reminded that it promises me a forever that will outweigh any separation the Army can throw at us.  It's empowering.  It makes me strong, fearless, and able to conquer the challenges that our being apart poses.

It has also been wonderful to have such a support system in place this time.  I have a huge circle of friends and family that now know how to handle my sad days, and I really can't thank them enough.  They make sure I constantly have something to occupy my time, but can also recognize the occasional day when I just need them to be there while I cry.

Of course, the near constant flow of communication has been wonderful.  I really don't know how I stayed sane waiting for once-a-week phone calls while Kyle was still in Basic.  It was awful, but now I can look forward to hearing from him at least once each day.  :)  I wouldn't trade those phone calls for anything, outrageous bill or none.

All in all, and in comparison to the last "month one," this has been a breeze.  I've accomplished quite a bit while Kyle's been away, and I've come to realize that for everything we miss out on while we're apart, we gain something that is invaluable to our relationship.  Each little thing we survive without strengthens us, builds our trust, and makes the time we do spend together a bit more precious.

Now, let's take a look at what I've been up to this month, shall we?
  • I founded the Page Turner's Book Club with Whitney from a cheery disposition...
  • I began making preparations for my move into the apartment:  packing, organizing, making phone calls to my landlord to arrange that my move in day be changed from Sunday to Friday, doing some crazy-but-fun shopping for housewares, arranging a storage area for my things that I'll need to put away until I return from Germany...  It's been stressful, but now that I'm almost ready to make the move, I know it's worth it.  :)
  • I started looking into online universities so I'll be prepared to continue my education after the wedding.
  • Speaking of the wedding, I've also selected my bridesmaids, chose my color scheme (navy blue, teal, and caramel), purchased the dress (eeeeeek!), set a tentative date of June 5th, and started looking at locations.  Hows that for beginning early?
  • I've managed to keep a 3.2 GPA while stressing about all these other things. 
  • I found my way out of phone bill hell.
  • I made time to go to an incredible AFI concert, and stuck around extra late to meet the band.
It's a pretty good list, don't you think?  I'd give my month...3 out of 5 stars.  That's probably about the best it could hope for while Kyle's missing from my life.  :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chia Obama:

Does anyone else think this seems like a really bad joke?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Crisis Averted

There is something about my fiance that I haven't told you...

He has the absolute best luck of anyone I've ever met.  Ever.  The day he buys a lottery ticket is the day I'll start shopping for my dream home.  It's uncanny, really, how fortunate he is. 

He's the only person I know that could compose an entire senior portfolio in one night and still manage to get a passing score.  He can speed down the highway at nearly 100mph and never get a ticket.  He never ever makes a plan for anything, and yet everything always works out without a hitch.  He hardly ever gets sick, and on the rare occasion that he does, it lasts no longer than a day.  He once drove my car from my hometown to campus and back while the you're-about-to-run-out-of-gas-you-idiot light was on without running out and being stuck on the side of the road.  He can ingest copious amounts of chocolate cake, oreos, ice cream, milk, pizza and tacos without gaining a single ounce.  (I'm more than a little jealous of that particular talent.)

It gets even better, too.  The following scenario is a typical example of Kyle's luck:

During my first semester on campus, while Kyle was still enrolled at Eastern with me, someone broke into my car and stole my stereo system.  It kind of broke my heart a little.  I lost some of my faith in people that day.  That same night, someone broke into Kyle's car, but they didn't take anything.  Instead they left him an iPod.  Go figure.  (He then turned the iPod in at the campus police station.  He's too sweet for his own good.  :] )

Yes, he leads a blessed life, and apparently being his fiancee gives me the privilege of siphoning off some of that luck.  A phone call was made to my phone company this week in which my miserable case was pleaded.  During this phone call it was discovered that a) Kyle's calls placed to me are free of charge.  b) with an international calling plan (for only $5/month) the rate for my placed calls to Germany is only $.26/minute.  and c) people will pull strings for a military fiancee friend of Kyle's.  They agreed to back-date the international calling plan to cover all the other calls we'd placed this month.  Thank you, AT&T.  You are hereby publically redeemed and forever rid of the title "evil bloodsucking cell-phone company."   

So, my expenses have been reduced to less than a third of my previous total, and it's all being written off to the fact that Kyle, being Kyle and all, has wonderful luck.  :)  There are perks to my lonely situation. 


On a completely unrelated note, I was checking out the Live Traffic Feed today and noticed this location:  Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.  Never have I ever heard of this one before, and never will I ever be able to pronounce it.  Anyhow, welcome Thiruvananthapuram-ian visitor!  I'm glad you stopped by.  :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm Dreaming

Outside it's a perfect autumn day.  It's warm, but with a crisp breeze that begs for sweaters and boots.  The leaves are exploding into a grand finale of color for which the sky provides a brilliant background.  Campus is picturesque.  There were literally boys tossing a football and girls braiding each other's hair in the grass.  While part of me is trying to take all this in, memorize my last Kentucky autumn for two years, another part is already dreaming of...

[Paris, France]
  ...kisses at the Eiffel Tower.

[Alcazar Castle; Segovia, Spain]
...adventures in enchanted castles.

[Temple of Concord; Agrigento, Italy]
...exploring ancient worlds.

[Louvre Museum; Paris, France]
...seeing things I've only ever dreamed of.

[Sistine Chapel; Rome, Italy]
...experiencing a masterpiece.

[Harbor Town of Yialos, Island of Symi, Greece]
...watching the sun rise over the ocean.

{Neuschwanstein Castle; Bavaria, Germany]
...pretending I'm a princess.

[Hallstatt, Austria]
...exploring adorable villages.

[Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland, England]
...meeting ghosts, or at least hearing stories about them.

[Monch and Eiger, Grosse Scheidegg, Switzerland]
...seeing real mountains.

[Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands]
...and, of course, searching for Nessie. :)

And don't think I won't be trying to find my way into the Ministry of Magic.  ;)

But mostly?

Mostly I'm just deaming of being back with him.  :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reality Sinks in Slowly

...or in my case, hits me like a ton of bricks.  -at approximately 95.7 mph.  -with pointy, rusted, metal spikes in them.

Today I decided to log into my online account and check how much the phone bill will be after nearly three weeks of phone calls from Germany.  It wasn't pretty.  In fact, it was a whopping $350 of not-prettiness.  It's safe to say I'm completely panicking a little worried. 

I mean, I knew it would be expensive.  I expected quite a large sum...just not that much.  At the moment I have no earthly idea where I'm going to get that much money.  Kyle is already sending me the $360 for apartment rent every month.  I really don't want to ask him to cover this too. 

When I get back to my hometown tonight (which I travel to every weekend for laundry/visiting purposes) I'm going to sit down with a pencil and a sheet of paper and devise some strange mathematical formula that will make my finances work out.  And then I'll be making a few calls to discover which international phone plan will be the cheapest for the next 8 months or so.  Any reccomendations?  I'll fix this, but right now, I'm in the midst of a melt-down, and it isn't all about this bill.  (Though the bill alone is enough to make me want to strangle the life out of those heartless, leeching phone companies...)


The real problem is the one that's sinking in slow, spreading a chill through through my happiness.  For the first time in all these months, I'm beginning to feel afraid.  Up until this point I haven't really considered how much I'm giving up by leaving next summer.  The only thing I have been concerned with is getting to Kyle, no matter the cost. 

...but I'm going to miss so many people here.  My best friends are here.  My family is here.  This drab little Kentucky town has been my home for just over nineteen years, and even though I've always wanted to go and explore, I am having some difficultly imagining a life outside of it. 

What will I do without everyone? 

Kylie:  My very best friend since elementary school.  The person who's always been by my side, even in the darkest of moments.  The girl who spent hours educating me in music.  The girl that reads all the beginnings to my many, horrid attempts at a novel.  The only person that shares all of my inside jokes, understands my slightly-off sense of humor, and can put up with me when I'm in hyper-goofy mode.  The one friend I'll always trust, no matter what, and the one I don't think I'll ever lose.  What am I to do when I don't have her with me anymore?

Not to mention Jon, Brianne, Chrissy, Sean...  These people are the ones I chose to surround myself with.  They're my hand-picked family. 

Courtney:  It's hardly fair for me to gain a new sister only to have to leave.  Who will continue my movie education when I'm gone, huh?  (Apparently I lived under a rock for the first 17 years or so of my life.  Courtney's been using the time that Kyle's away to bring me up to date.)  And if a Team Edward v. Team Jacob war breaks out, who will be on my side?  We Team Jacob girls are few and far between.  Who's going to help me eat all of the snickerdoodles?  Who else is enough like me to understand my crazy thought processes?  You aren't going to be missed at all, actually.  I'm going to pack you in my suitcase.

And my real family...  They're a crazy bunch, but I love them to pieces.   Even though I've been living away from home for more than a year now, I haven't really had a chance to miss them.  I'm home practically every weekend to borrow a washer and dryer, and they phone me at least twenty times a day.  Leaving next summer will be the first time we've ever really been apart.  While I have always wanted an adventure, I've also always cherished the security that being so close to home provides.  How will I adapt to being so far away?

I'm especially dreading leaving my baby brother.  He's not such a baby anymore.  At ten years old it seems like he grew up overnight.  How much of his childhood will I miss when I'm gone, and will he be able to forgive me for it?

Being without Kyle requires one kind of strength, but losing my family and friends requires another entirely.  Will I be able to find this strength when I need it?  I've been taking care of myself for quite some while, but it's been with the support and encouragement of a huge number of people.  It makes me wonder how on earth he's coping with being entirely alone now.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not changing my mind about leaving.  Being with Kyle, starting our life together, is my top priority.  Everything else falls to the wayside when neccessary.  Though it will hurt to leave everything that is familiar, that pain will be nothing compared to that of being without my other half. 

It's just that I'm realizing that my heart isn't entirely devoted to Kyle, though he certainly has the majority.  Other portions will be left behind to ache until we're home again.  To make matters worse, I can't even predict how far away that day is set.

I guess I can chalk this up as another life lesson:  Every bit of happiness has its price.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Awards

Just when I start to think the attention is beginning to slack off, Jessica from Just Another Day and Nikke from Just Nikke stop by to leave me these lovely awards!  Thank you so much you guys!  I can't stress enough how much all the kind comments, emails and awards mean to me.  I have dreamed of being a writer my entire life, so having this blog be so well received means the world to me.  (Not to mention how nice it's been to have advice and support while I'm going through such a whirl-wind of changes...)

The first award, Jessica's "Over the Top," award, comes with these rules: 
1) Nominate 5 other blogs to share the award with. 
2) Answer a questionaire using only one word for each answer.  

Nikke's "Best Blog Award" dictates that I follow these steps to accept:
1) Post the award on your blog, along with a link to the person who gave it to you.
2) Pass the award on to 15 other wonderful blogs.
3) Let the winners know they've been nominated.

I'm at a loss for who to give which award, and which 20 blogs I feel are the most noteworthy, and so here is what I've decided...  If your blog is listed in my right side bar, you are eligible to accept the award of your choosing and pass it on to another group of worthy candidates as per the award's directions. :)  I fully support all of the blogs in my sidebar and would love to see each and every one of them adopt one of these awards.  If you haven't checked out the sidebar list, do so immediately!  You won't regret it. 

There are, however, a few blogs that I've recently discovered which I'd like to give a bit of special attention.  The best part of all this hype from becoming a Blog of Note has been the exposure to so many new wonderful writers!  These bloggers are exceptional, and I am so very glad to have found them:

1) Alex and Mina from ...sending postcards --  The lovely Canadian couple Mina and Alex write a fascinating blog that chronicles their adventures doing something most of us will only ever dream about.  They're leaving home to travel the world together.  Their blog is simple and honest, and full of contagious optimism.  I love it to pieces, and I bet you will too.  :)

2)  rsparks from Confessions of a Virgin Blogger --  This is the blog of fresh-out-of-the-classroom English degree graduate who writes with a fresh, contemporary view of the world.  Her blog is straight forward and packed with just enough sarcasm to be delightfully entertaining.  She's relatively new to the blogging world, but is well-deserving of your love and attention.  :)

3)  Fernanda from Ferni's Food -- Ferni is the author of the first (and so far, only) recipe blog I ever fell in love with.  The dishes she prepares always look amazing, and the recipes are the perfect balance of simplicity and decadance.  Nothing is difficult to understand, and everything is irresistable.  This CSU student knows her way around the kitchen!  Ferni, dear, if you're ever in my area and want to team up for a home-cooked lunch, all you have to do is say the word.  You're welcome in my kitchen anytime. ;)

4)  Meg from The Wild and Wily Ways of a Brunette Bombshell -- Meg is a girl after my own heart.  She's a hopeless romantic living a fabulous life in NYC and writing beautiful letters to the future-husband she hasn't found yet.  Her blog is sweet and endearing, but it packs a heavy punch that you don't expect at first glance.  The punch comes in the form of brutal honesty, and I find it immensely refreshing.  :)

5) Lastly, each and every one of the blogs found in my "Military Girls" section deserve your support and admiration.  Their blogs have been inspiring me since day one of my own journey into Army-wife-land.  Stop by for a moment and leave them some much-deserved love.  It makes their day just as much as it does mine, I'm sure.  :)

And now for the real fun...  Without any further ado, here is my completed one-word-only questionaire from Jessica's award.  If any of you pick up this award, don't forget to fill this out!  I can't wait to see how other people answer..

1. Where is your cell phone - desk.
2. Your hair - brown.
3. Your Mother - strong.
4. Your Father - hard working.
5. Your favorite food - pasta.
6. Your dream last night - unremembered.
7. Your favorite drink - tea.
8. Your dream/goal - publication.
9. What room are you in - dorm.
10. Your hobby -writing.
11. Your fear -lonliness.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? -  home.
13. Where were you last night? - dorm.
14. Something you aren't? -patient.
15. Muffins? -strawberry. 
16. Wish List item? -locket.
17. Where did you grow up? -Kentucky.
18. Last thing you did? -conversed.
19. What are you wearing? -hoodie.
20. Your TV? -off.
21. Your pets? -fuzzy.
22. Your friends? -supportive.
23. Your life? -developing.
24. Your Mood? -pensive.
25. Missing someone? -Kyle.  :(
26. vehicle? -despicable.
27. Something you're not wearing? -shoes.
28. Your favorite store? -Hastings.
29. Your favorite color? -teal.
30. When was the last time you laughed? -today.
31. Last time you cried? -today.
32. Your best friend? -two.
33. One place that I go over and over? -Courtney's.  :)
34. One person who emails me regularly? -Courtney.
35. Favorite place to eat? - Subway! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Game Plan -- or: Updates on All the Crazy Things Happening in My Life

This weekend lasted four days for fall break, and I was so thankful for that.  My midterm exams were last week, and because Kyle was here during the beginning of this semester I hadn't exactly been doing a lot of studying...  I've spent the last two weeks teaching myself everything I should have been learning over the course of this semester.  It was a lot to cram in, and I was exhausted, so the extra break suited me just fine.

During the break I did a lot of planning:  wedding planning, apartment planning, college transfer planning...even some I'm-moving-to-Germany planning.  So now it's time to fill you in.

On Monday I had my first major melt-down.  When I realized just how much there was to prepare for, I became overwhelmed, panicked, cried like a baby, and then quickly recovered, kicked myself into gear, and went to work setting a timeline and making some phone calls to get everything rolling.
However, it was the perfect time to completely freak out.  Kyle finally got his phone plan, which automatically made half my stress melt away.  We've been able to communicate much more easily now.  So far, things are going very smoothly for him in Germany, and I can finally rest a bit easier knowing that he's okay.  We know now that he'll be stationed at his current location for two years, and that time will be lengthened to three years after we're married.  This is great news because there is little chance of his being deployed from this particular base.  Once we're married we're almost guaranteed two years together before we have to worry about deployments again.   I miss him more than I can tell you, but it's unbelievable how reassuring a phone call can be.  Even though I'm positively aching to be back in those arms again, just hearing his voice helps to set me at ease and remind me that I am capable of least if I try really really hard.

Anyway, this outline is what came of my melt-down:

1)  I applied for my passport today so that I'll be able to leave the country without any problems.

2)  I move into my new apartment on November 1st.

3)  I'll be going to Germany to see Kyle over Christmas break, probably for about a week.  :)

4)  Next semester will be my last at Eastern Kentucky University, if I decide to attend after this semester.  I'm considering taking next semester off to focus on the wedding/the "big move."

5)  I'll be applying for transfer at UMUC online school in March of next year.

6)  Kyle and I will be getting married sometime around June 5th.  That's our tentative date.  We can't put a definite date on the wedding yet because we don't know when he'll be able to get his leave, but it will be somewhere around this time.

7)  Kyle will leave a week or two after the wedding, and I'll follow within the next month.  It'll take me some time to pack/store all of our things from the apartment.

8)  By the end of July, at the very latest, I'll be living in Germany, blogging all about my adventures in Europe.  I am so very excited for this part of the plan.  :)

But speaking of weddings...I've had one major development in that area:

I found my dress.  :)  It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my entire life.  I really really wish I could show you guys, but unfortunately Kyle does occasionally check this blog and I'm not letting him know anything about the dress.  I promise though, as soon as the wedding is done I'll have loads of photos to show you all.

I also think I may have decided on a location, and as soon as I can make it back out there I'll post some photos of that as well.  I can't wait to hear what you guys have to say about it.  :)    

I really can't wrap my mind around the thought of us not being separated for two whole years after we're married.  That seems a little too good to be true.  If I can just make it to next summer without going completely insane, I'll be the happiest girl in existence.  With my trip to Germany just around the corner, I'm thinking that maybe this will be easier than I'd dared to hope.  
So for separation #2:
16 days down, and a little less than 70 left to go.
Thank God it's going quickly so far.  :)  Maybe this does get a little easier...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

AFI in Ohio

Try as I might to find the perfect way to describe the concert on Monday, I just don't think I can.  For once in my life I've found that words are not enough.  The best I can do is to tell you that it was INCREDIBLE. 

Here are the photos.  They get bigger if you click on them.  I'm sorry there aren't more, but I was a little to carried away with living it to really care about documenting it...

[Driving over--Ryan drives really freakin fast...]

[Left:  waiting what seemed to be an excruciatingly long time to get inside.   Right:  my future sister-in-law Courtney, and her husband Ryan.  Aren't they just adorable?]


[If you're wondering, then yes, that is who you think it is in the photo on the right.  :) 
We're aparently cool enough to meet the band.  Eeeeek!]

[We also made friends with Sebastian, one of the security guys.  He picked up Brianne. 
We don't really know why.  It was funny though...]

Dr. Suess once said, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

Well I'm doing a little more than smiling. I'm doing another

Friday, October 2, 2009

Meeting Stephenie Meyer

WARNING:  I am a complete and total fan girl in this post.  I am going to be pictured wearing home-made Twilight t-shirts.  I am not the slightest bit ashamed of this.  Do not proceed beyond this point if you do not want to be exposed to this portion of my life, or if you have some unnatural aversion to all things Twilight

This photo was taken on the way to Cincinnati. 
It rained nearly the entire way, setting the mood nicely.

Since many of you have asked about how I met Stephenie Meyer, I’ve decided to do a very belated post about it. Meeting Stephenie was my 17th birthday gift.  Stephenie was on her book signing tour; the date was September 10, 2007.  Two of my best friends, Kylie and Raina, and me skipped a day of school and drove to a Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, OH, to be the first in line.  We knew it was going to be an amazing trip when we had to take “Edwards Road” to get there.

We were the first to arrive by far. We were there nearly five hours early and at the time there wasn’t nearly as much hype about the books. Probably about 150 people turned out in the end. We waited patiently, reading Post Secret books to pass the time.

Eventually, after an excruciating wait, Stephenie descended the staircase to answer our many questions. She explained the origins of some of the characters’ names, told us that we shouldn’t be disappointed by Jacob, and that she would spill nothing about the fourth book’s plot. Finally, she said she’d accept just one more question before the signing would begin.

It's poorly lit, and she's teeny tiny, but this is a photo of our first
glimpse of Stephenie Meyer.  *squeel*

The three of us jumped up and down, literally, hands waving in the air. After a moment of careful consideration, she points directly at our group. Kylie and I were speechless. Raina, never at a loss for words, did the talking.  Luckily we’d decided on our question long before we’d arrived…

“Do you read Harry Potter?”

A hush fell over the crowd.

“Doesn’t everyone?”

And the audience let out a roar like I’ve never heard. We were elated. Not only was Stephenie the creator of every girl’s dream man (kind of), she was also a kindred spirit. Suddenly she was human too, someone we with whom we could relate. =)

Is it just me or do her teeth look a little pointy here?

We waited in line for at least an hour before we made it up the gigantic staircase and around to the table where Stephenie was signing the books. When it was our turn, she made our night perfect. She looked up, signed a book, and then did a double take.

“I love your shirts! Where did you find them?”

Aren't they gorgeous?  And if you can't read those:
Kylie (front):  "Bite me Edward."
Me (middle):  "My standards are set according to Edward Cullen."
Raina (back):  "My heart belongs to Edward." 
The back of hers said: "And so does my neck."

And so we were able to explain that we’d made them ourselves. =) Let me tell you, it was an amazing experience. I couldn’t believe how ‘down to earth’ she was. I’d expected her to be sort of snobby, and that wouldn’t really have bothered me. In my eyes, she was a literary hero, and therefore deserving of whatever attitude she chose. The fact that she really appreciates her fans makes her all the more wonderful. It isn’t every day that you meet someone who isn’t negatively affected by fame.

Oh, I’d love to meet her again…especially in a smaller setting. I’d love to really get to talk to her.

This is an image of the autograph that now resides inside the cover
of my copy of Twilight.  It's a very special copy indeed.  It's the one
most of my friends borrowed for their first Twilight experience.   It's tattered
and well-worn, but that just goes to show how much it was loved.  :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009


It's hard to believe that our month together went by so quickly.  It seems like it could have been a week ago that I was telling you all about the trip to go and bring him home and yet suddenly here we are:  I'm telling you about giving him back again.  :/

It was an excruciating experience.  The whole way to St. Louis (a six hour drive) I kept trying to convince myself that we were just going on vacation.  I deliberately denied the truth to keep from having a break down.  My dad came along and drove almost the whole time.  Kyle slept most of the way with the passenger seat reclined so that he was practically lying with his head in my lap.  I kept one arm around him, holding on to him with everything I had, and knowing it wouldn't be enough to keep him with me.  When I could feel the tears swelling I'd focus intently on tracing circles in what little hair he's allowed to keep with my fingers, trying to sooth us both. 

We made the drive in good time and found a hotel for the night without any problems.  Kyle kept me laughing.  Falling asleep in each other's arms was bittersweet that night.  We both knew it would be the last night we'd share.  He pressed kisses into my hair and I cuddled in as close as I could.

Breakfast the next morning felt like lead in my stomach.  I was smiling and laughing on the outside, but inside I was screaming and pulling at my hair like a crazy person.  I don't think I've ever had to use so much self-restraint.  I wanted to drag him out to the car, tie him up, throw him in the trunk and head for Mexico as fast as possible.  ...and yes, I knew it was a really bad plan.  So I kept my mouth firmly shut like a good little Army fiancee and didn't complain too much.  I didn't even cry my first tears of the day until we were on our way to the airport.

But that didn't come until quite a bit later.  We passed the majority of the morning making the most of the time we had.  We went to the Gateway Arch and took a ton of photos.  :)

After that came the airport.  :(

When we checked in his bags, I lost control for the first time.  The lady behind the desk asked if I'd like to go with Kyle to the gate, and one tear slid down my cheek.  She looked from Kyle to me, and then her eyes swept over my left hand momentarily, noticing my ring.

"Oh, it'll be alright," she said, and that was all it took.  I was weeping.  It would not be alright.  My life was about to walk onto a plane without me.  How could she say something like that.  Of course it's not going to be alright.  While I realize she was only trying to be nice, it wasn't the best thing to say at the moment.

I was on shaky ground from that point on, fluctuating between tears and smiles.  We waited for an hour before he had to board the flight.  We passed the time talking and flipping through photos.  But after the last embrace and last hurried kiss, after one final "I love you," he was gone.  I fell apart then.  I stumbled back through the gates, fighting for each breath.  It felt like drowning.  My lungs couldn't take in enough air, and I was panicking.  It took enormous effort to place on foot in front of the other.  I had to constantly remind myself to keep moving, and at one point I remember thinking that I probably looked like I was planning to bomb the place... 

It's a blessing that Dad was there to pull me back through the airport and out to the car.  He let me mourn uninterrupted for a while, and comforted me when I needed it.  Around 7:00 Monday night I got a phone call from Kyle saying that he made it to the Chicago airport alright, and at 7:15 yesterday morning we had a 41 second exchange that let me know he'd arrived in Germany in one piece. I haven't heard anything past that, but I'm not worried.  Now that he's there, I know he'll be great.  He's capable of achieving so much.  We'll get to talk to each other eventually.  Waiting is something I'm used to by now.

Today...  Today I can't really tell you how I'm feeling.  It changes from one moment from the next, but that's about how I was feeling through the first few days of our last separation.  The first bit will be the hardest because it's a readjustment, but I know that there are only two options for me at this point.  I can either fall apart completely, or I can pick myself up and carry on.  Much as I hate it, and much as I wish I could change it, there's only one way out of this mess and that's to go straight through it.  How I handle it is up to me. 

While a good portion of me wants to find a rewind button, the biggest part is ready for what is to come.  Each day is a new day, and one closer to the future for which I am so desperately longing.  Getting there will be difficult, but then so are all of life's great adventures.  I know in the end, looking back on where I've been, we'll have made a beautiful journey, both together and apart.  :)