Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Ugly

So, a while back I promised to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly of my experience while Nick is deployed. Right now I am definitely going through an ugly.
As I mentioned Tuesday, Finlay and I have both been sick - no I have not had the swine flu. While my sore throat has come and gone, leaving me without a voice but otherwise unscathed, Finlay's stomach issues have continued. We have, in fact, just today, moved on to bloody diarhhea. I'm sorry if that grosses you out, but imagine how fun it is to deal with multiple bouts of that affliction, on your own, beginning at 2:54 a.m. with a massive gurgling sound and a pitiful looking dog.
In our marriage I do many useful things. I make the grocery lists, do the shopping, prepare all the meals, manage the money, and take care of the laundry, but NICK CLEANS. I hate cleaning. Hate it. My new Spot Bot has helped matters today, but really, I am just tired of cleaning up waste, feeling like my house is not really all that clean despite my efforts, and feeling like a really bad dog mom for being irritated with Finlay for causing all this. I'm tired of having to bathe Finlay once a day, making sure to get everything out of his layers of fur. I am tired of having to cook more for him than I do for me.
If Nick was here, he probably could have taken off work today to deal with this, instead of me having to take off my third day this week. He would have helped with the cleaning. Who am I kidding? He would have done all the clean-up gladly, and he would have had plenty of love and patience left over to treat Finlay like the poor, miserable baby that he is.
As you all pray for Nick, please keep Fin and me in your prayers too. Please pray that Finlay gets well ASAP! Because, honestly, I might go insane if he doesn't.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


In the past 72 hours Finlay has vomitted five times. I have learned two new things from this experience.
1) Per my vet's advice, giving your dog plain white rice and boiled chicken will calm a dog's stomach. This is much easier and less expensive than a trip to the vet, especially my vet. I might gripe about them being expensive, but I know that this piece of FREE advice, obtained this morning, is going to save me lots of mulah in the future. It has worked like a charm for Finlay today.
2) A Bissel Spot Bot is a good investment. There really is nothing more disgusting than vomit on carpet. Seriously. I ABHOR cleaning up after Finlay gets sick. I purchased a Spot Bot today, and the trouble spots on my carpet are totally gone, with minimal nasty work on my part. It is a LIFESAVER! I actually bought it in a moment of desperation. I'm sick myself, and on the way back from the doctor in Sumter I was thinking about how I was going to have to scrub down the "spots" yet again when I got home. I felt silly spending $130 on a little steam vac, but sure enough, the Spot Bot worked fabulously. I'm so glad that I bought it. Sweet!
I will now retreat back into my latest Sophie Kinsella novel and "push fluids" per my doctor's orders. I refuse to miss another day of work!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This week's events

This past week was pretty exciting in Columbia and elsewhere! I apologize that I don't have any pictures from the events, but I forgot my camera for one of them, and I didn't carry one to the other.

The first exciting thing was Cousin Date Part II. Matt and I met up again in Orangeburg, which is about 45 minutes away for each of us. We avoided a repeat of the shady restaurant issue by meeting in a different area of Orangeburg. This was still no gourmet experience, but Matt did get to find out what the famous Calabash chicken at Fatz was all about. It's basically just fried chicken tenders, but apparently they were tasty! It was great to catch up again, and we're going to try to do a repeat soon, whenever he comes back into town again.

The second big event was a trip to see Pat Green play in Charleston. When I was in high school, I looked forward to the night Pat would play at the HOT Fair and Rodeo each fall with incredible anticipation. I made some great memories during those concerts, like two-stepping and maybe even stealing a kiss or two (first names only: Tyler and Justin - Mom, you can guess) during the slow songs. This was the one school night each fall that my parents let me stay out past ten because they knew how important it was to me. I made it to a few perfomances during college, but it's been 5 or 6 years since I saw him play live.
That's why it was so exciting to get to see Pat play this weekend. I had a friend who was already going, along with her little sister, and they invited me to come along. Thanks to my grandmother we were able to meet Pat and get his autograph before the concert. I enjoyed hearing him play some new stuff, but my favorite moment was hearing "Take Me Out to a Dancehall." When I hear that song I think about my standing lunch date with Rebecca and Adrienne junior year. We listened to that CD and the Dixie Chicks Fly album almost every day that fall, or at least that's how I remember it.
Pat announced at the concert that he wanted to come back each spring so hopefully Nick will get to go next year.
Speaking of Nick, you're probably wondering how he's doing. Understandably, he's tired. The schedule of 4:30 wake-up and 11pm bedtime is not helping matters. He continues to have a great attitude, and remains as positive as possible. Specific ways you can pray for him are:
That he gets enough rest and has energy
That he will continue to develop and be confident in his leadership skills
That he will find time to complete all extra projects assigned to him
That he is able to remain positive
That he will be affirmed in his abilities by his superiors
That he will continue to grow physically stronger through training
Thank you all so much for your thoughts an prayers for him as he goes through this new challenge.
Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dear Bobo

Dear Bobo,

You are officially the world's coolest grandmother. You got backstage passes for my friends and me to go backstage and meet Pat Green at his Charleston concert tomorrow night. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Picnic on the Horseshoe

Today, after church, Finlay and I had a picnic on the Horseshoe with Melissa and Paul. Fin had a blast, like always, running around with Paul. Enjoy the pictures!

Couldn't get Finlay to look at the camera, but Melissa and Paul look great!

Paul is really good at sit and stay.

They both love to play chase!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter weekend pictures for your enjoyment:

This one is with my fantastic hostess, Mrs. Paula Wilson. Her family welcomed me to Easter dinner after church today. Kelly, her daughter and my friend, is on her other side.
Last night Rachel & Timmy, Tara, and I had a reunion with our respective dogs
Zoey, Addie, and of course Finlay. Just the girls in our bright spring colors.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A message from Nick

Nick was able to e-mail me a few pictures of his living situation in Indiana this week. He also sent a message to include with them on the blog. Here you go!

"I took some pictures to show you what my barracks are like. The layout is open bay with the north and south sides separated by the latrines and showers. I have a section to myself (no bunk mate for now) and I am on the bottom which is nice. It is just our PRT stsff here right now doing some specialized training so there is a little more space. I am in S2 training this week which is about 12 hour days followed by dinner. After that we are on our own to workout, call home, etc. I'll try to keep ya'll updated as training gets rolling...2 1/2 months to go!"
This first picture is of Nick's hurt leg. He fell off a top bunk his first night at Camp Atterbury and gouged out his shin.
This picture is of the barracks area where the PRT teams are housed for training.The inside view.Nick's little spot.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

TRUMC send-off and other updates

To kick off my massive update, I want to let all you back in Texas know what the church and our church friends did to send Nick off in style last week. For starters, our friends Kelly and Michael and Kelly's parents, Rex and Paula Wilson, dedicated a floral arrangement to us. It was beautiful! It was all blue and white (Kelly knows they're my favorite color combo) with huge hydrangeas. When Nick saw the note in the bulletin about the flowers, he came the closest to tearing up that he did all day. Then, during the church service our entire Sunday School class of young adults came up to the front of the church. Nick and I knelt at the altar while our ministers and our friends prayed over us. The whole church was involved as our Sunday School leader, Tim, led a responsive prayer. At the end of the service Nick and I were called to the front of the church to stand with the new members during the benediction. The choir sang a special Irish blessing, and we were so touched. Needless to say, Nick left firm in the understanding that he would be well-prayed for and I would be well-cared for. I wish I had pictures from last Sunday, but hopefully you've got a good mental image of everything.

Now for the other miscellaneous updates (mostly in pictures):

We watched the Virginia Tech/Baylor NIT game with our friends the Marshes. Rachel is a rabid VT fan...

On March 24th we celebrated Finlay's 4th birthday with a pup-cake and a new flavored rawhide. Finlay at his cake so quickly that I didn't get a picture of him eating it! Last Saturday we ate some of the Uncle Dan's authentic Texas BBQ that Mom and Dad sent us. I've captured the bottle just to prove that it's the real thing!

Last Saturday we also had our final date. We started things off at the Flying Saucer (picture) and finished up with sushi from Sakitumi and then dessert from Nonnah's. So tasty!

This last picture is how Finlay spent all day yesterday. He loves the porch!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Off he goes...

I will post info from the last two weeks as promised later today or tomorrow, but I know that if you are checking the blog today, you're probably wondering how things went with sending Nick off this morning. Short answer - just fine.
I was really worried about losing it at the airport, but that was not to be. As we pulled into the airport Nick realized that he had forgotten his hat at home. Instead of having an hour to hang out at the airport with him before he had to clear security, Finlay and I ended up flying to our apartment and back with the hat! Fortunately, at 5:30 am there was not much traffic to contend with. I might have been sad about not having much time with him, but as it turned out, the travel agency that booked Nick's trip neglected to actually pay for his ticket. He spent the whole time I was running back and forth to home sorting out his ticket situation. If I had been there, we wouldn't have even been able to hang out! We just had time for a sweet kiss good-bye before Nick needed to go on into the airport.
I think it all worked out perfectly and prevented the morning from getting overly-emotional. I've promised to give you all specific ways you can pray for Nick while he is gone, and here's your first list. First, pray for his adjustment to training. It's supposed to be the worst part of the deployment, yes that includes the nine months living in the Afghan wilderness. Pray for him to remain motivated and energetic throughout the training process. Finally, during these two weeks when Nick and his fellow senior staff members are preparing to receive their airmen, pray that they come together as an effective leadership team.
I promise that the next post will have lots of fun info and lots of pictures. Check back soon!