Wednesday, June 21, 2017

may: what we did this month.

May ended a while ago, in fact, it is nearly JULY and I've been taking my sweet time to tell you about it. June has been fun and busy so far, so I have a good excuse?!

I spent part of my May weekends in Waterloo camping with my mom and Kevin, where I've started a for reals tan! 2k17 will be the year that I don't stay pale all summer. We split our time between the campground and the lake on their new (to them) boat! It was a good time to chill and eat all the camp food and drinks, essentially some of my favorite things.

Other than lazily spending my days camping and hanging on the boat, my discipleship group met for the last time! It was a growing year for all of us, and I really enjoyed getting to know each of them while walking through the school year together. Ashley and I also hit up the Iowa City farmer's market on a dreary Saturday morning, so it's been neat to see a friendship develop out of it all. 

Speaking of friendships, I've also had the chance to spend more time with Kaylee! This deployment has been a bummer, but on a positive note, I have had the opportunity to dig more into the other relationships in my life. Kaylee and I spent May building diorama's to be put on display at Home Ec. Fact: I will jump on any excuse to craft diorama's, sooooo it was perfect. Remember when we had diorama day with our friends?! It was so fun, and you can check it out here if you feel like reminiscing. I'll post completed photos next month, it'll add a little suspense to the blog. (I'm sorry that my cliffhangers aren't more exciting.)

Work has been busy, which is what happens in the summer, so I'm not surprised but I am already ready to have this summer and turnover OVER. People are the worst and the dirtiest and apparently not always the most rational, so that's neat. At least they make for good stories after the frustration wears away.

Of course! Taraleh and Andrew's weddingggggg! Which I still need to tell you about. Stay tuned but don't hold your breath because I have been the worst at blogging lately.

I started going out to Terry Trueblood to run (whhaaaaat?! right?!). I know, I know, Layla does not easily get out of bed, especially to do any form of exercise. And while I look completely pathetic following my couch to 5k app, I've had some pretty views, made some turtle friends, and I will admit that it is nice to get out early and wake up to some fresh air.  

Jeremiah? He has been working more and more nights, while still working days, so that's very chill and normal. (I wish I could more clearly express sarcasm in text) BUT he did advance on his last exam so he's been PROMOTED! So proud! The way the Navy promotes is confusing and he has passed a few times before without actually advancing, so it's great that it has finally happened because he has 100% earned it. The weather is always hot, the views can be beautiful, and he's been enjoying the creatures of GITMO from afar as the base is mostly filled with dragons, wild dogs, a feral dumpster kitty, and banana rats. He has been enjoying the friendships that he has down there, and that helps a lot!

We are very likely halfway with this deployment now! I'm trying to be an optimist, but inside I tend to be more anxious than trusting, so while we *should* be half way I'm trying to not get too hung up on dates. (shrug) But things are progressing and the end is getting closer!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

april: what we did this month.

I know these posts keep coming later and later in the month, and if I'm being honest it's because recounting these months apart is a drag. April came and went quickly, and for that I'm thankful, time can slow down in November but in the meantime let's keep it up.

Oh, friends, April was hard. You would think that as time progressed things would become more manageable, and in a way they are, but we have not managed to command this situation overnight. Settling into our new normal has been helpful, we typically know what to expect out of life right now and that is good. Still, dealing with life's diversions semi on your own can feel defeating. Don't worry, nothing awful happened last month, just a lot of little things that added to the general base level of stress that is this deployment. Learning to love each other well while being apart for so long has been challenging, although of course very much worth it. We do have "date night" once a week where we facetime while eating the same dinner (typically Subway, because the only other shared option is McDonald's) and we watch an episode or two of a show "together", and I'm grateful for those nights.

Aside from the emotional stress of April, we were busy! The month in Iowa City commenced with Mission Creek Festival. I only went to a couple shows but they were both amazing! I *finally* fulfilled one of my dreams to see Andrew Bird and he did not disappoint. He's so talented and puts on an amazing live show. In college, I spent most of my homework time writing essays listening to The Mysterious Production of Eggs and Radiohead's In Rainbows, so it brought back a lot of memories of sitting in the library at ISU bahaha. Jeremiah and I also listen to a lot of Andrew Bird while cooking, so it definitely also evoked some more enjoyable (and recent) memories. Oh, how I wish Jeremiah would have been here for that show. I also really wanted to see Kishi Bashi, so I went to that show by myself (is that weird?) and it was 100% worth it.
My birthday came and went, and thus begins my 30th year of life... yikes! I'm not bothered by my aging (other than the rate at which my hair is thinning), I'm more surprised by it than anything. Isn't it still 2009? No? Oh okay. I spent the weekend in Waterloo with my fam and boy was I spoiled this year! My dad gifted me a KitchenAid and my mom gifted me a fancy pants toaster oven, so my 29th birthday was the year I received fun and unnecessary kitchen appliances. Jeremiah also gifted me a new camera that's perfect and beautiful and makes me feel like I'm not cool enough/savvy enough to own it. Friends gifted me the sweetest things and so many of my connection group ladies texted me that day to make sure I wasn't spending it by myself (insert all of the happy sobs). I did spend my birthday missing my bestie, but I was showered with love from everybody, what more could I ask for?! In honor of being an adult who owns a KitchenAid, I made bread for the first time!
I also hung out with Raleigh a lot.... 
I helped throw Taraleh a bachelorette party! Woo! We splurged on food and drinks at Clinton St Social Club and ended the night with a slumber party, watching Bridesmaids, chill bachelorette parties are my favorite bachelorette parties. 
 My brothers came over for a Persian feast and we had a good time. It's been fun having them around.
Again, I can't tell you much about Jeremiah's life. He's on call 24/7/forever so he's worn out. Dealing with Navy shenanigans and people every day is exhausting and I'm not the type of person to take on all with a positive attitude, luckily Jeremiah is and he's making the best of it. He has some rad friends now, but life is still stressful and I know he's tired of that constant cafeteria food. One Saturday, while teaching the kiddos on base how to skate he may or may not have fallen and slightly fractured his rib. Even on deployment, Jeremiah manages to have his injuries come from skateboarding, which shows you he still very much himself haha. He also sees giant lizards every day and can hike to beautiful views, so at least he has some adventuring he can do to feel a little less trapped.
There's our April... and we are officially 1/3 done with this mobilization. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

march: what we did this month.

Hello, April! We have two months down in this deployment! (high five)

I feel like in March we definitely reached what will be our "normal" for the foreseeable future, which is fine. I have continued in my "say yes to everything" motto, and yes I stole that motto from Jeremiah... I can do that, we are married. Of course Jeremiah's version of "say yes to everything" is his opportunity to try new foods, hobbies, and the like, my version is just me attempting to stay as busy as possible in order to not dwell on the fact that this totally sucks. So you know... same but different haha. All that to say, I have been keeping busy and I think it's good for my emotional and mental well-being, although the introvert in me typically is all "why did you agree to that?!"... whatever.

What did my March look like? I have officially done some spring cleaning for the second time since Jeremiah left and I finally have things all in their new right place, until I inevitably change my mind of course. My mom came down to visit for Matthew's birthday and we partied pretty hard. By "partied" I mean we went to Costco and then to Basta for dinner hah. I also spent a couple days in Des Moines to spend time with Lauren, which was so good. It's always so refreshing and encouraging to spend time with her because we can just pick up where we left off. Friends that just get you are the best. I saw Beauty and the Beast for the first time that weekend... and then I saw it a second time with one of the girls from my discipleship group and I'm not complaining, it was magical and I loved it.

I also spent quite a bit of my March prepping for Taraleh's bridal shower! They are getting married less than one month from now, and I can't believe it's coming up so quickly! I spent one night just hanging out with my oven cooking away in preparation and then we threw her shower the next day at the big white house. Personally, I feel like it went really well and I hope she felt celebrated and loved.
The Bodin's have been remodeling their house, which is weirdly super fun and exciting for me haha. It's like my own personal episode of Fixer Upper, except they are my friends in real life so I feel more invested. They have also been the best at feeding me and making me feel like a part of their family. Speaking of people making me feel loved, I have had a couple fun girls nights with Taraleh and Abby, and a facetime hang with LG. Our friends are literally the best. 

As for Jeremiah? He has made a friend down at GTMO and that has been so good for both of us! Mostly him, of course, but also for me knowing that he's not alone down there. He has been working out like a champ, he is going to be so fit when he get's back. Beyond that, he's just been really busy with work, as his schedule can vary and be unpredictable. There's not much else that I can say here on that, but all in all, he's doing as well as he can be. We get to talk pretty much every day which is probably how we are able to do this and feel like we are in it together and not lose our minds. 

Seven months to go! (ugh) 

Monday, March 6, 2017

february: what we did this month.

ONE MONTH DOWN! only eight+ to go.... but we are staying positive! right?! right.

February was busy for both of us. Jeremiah has done a lot of adapting to new routines. His work keeps him busy and his schedule is inconsistent, so it has been one big adjustment. He can't really discuss what all his job entails, so I'll leave that up to your imagination. I'll just tell you that Cuba is very hot, sandy, and filled with large iguanas haha.

As for me, our friends have been keeping me busy and that has been such a blessing. I've had a couple ladies afternoons, dinners with our favorite family, connection group, and my discipleship group girls. I spent one weekend up in Waterloo with my mom, where we picked out paint colors, rearranged some furniture, and chopped off seven inches of hair! I was also able to grab breakfast with both of my brothers which was a good time. Matthew lives in Iowa City, so I see him pretty regularly. We have lunch or dinner together and run errands or he does laundry. It's chill.
I rounded out the month with supper club, where we had a Mardis Gras themed evening! Per usual, we had great food and a lot of fun. It's been encouraging to have such a supportive community around during this wierd, lonely time.
Being apart, we tend to text each other photos and hilarious internet gifs a lot, because this is our life now. We also tend to make the same faces on the regs hah. (I put Raleigh in his shark in this post twice (I knowwww...) but he loves that thing and he's in it all the time)
So there's February and our first month of this deployment, let's hope the rest of it flies by.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

january: what we did this month.

I know this is wayy late, as February is half over, but January was a tough, emotional month. ugh.

We kicked off January/2k17 with our besties, which was so so good. Once they left we finally took down our Christmas decorations and everything started to feel so real. November and December were really easy months to put this mobilization out of our minds because we had so many things to do and people to see, because of Christmas! After all of our "big" events were out of the way we only had one big event left and it was THE big event. We spent January doing a lot of "last things" together, which was overwhelming and made even the most fun things a little sad.

The weekend before he left I threw Jeremiah a party at the bowling alley, and our friends made him feel so loved!
I took the last week of January off so that we could spend 100% of our time together, and it was all very bittersweet. We made a point to try to act like it was a staycation and do as many Iowa City things that we could, but we also ended up spending a lot of time at home. Don't get me wrong, we had a lot of fun together! We ate all the good food and even treated ourselves to a couples massage.
We are only two + weeks into this deployment, so we have a long way to go, but I am doing okay. Our friends have been great at keeping me busy. I've found that if I say "yes" to most things I'm invited to and keep myself a little busier than I'd like to be, then the time goes by faster and I have less time to feel down and lonely. That doesn't mean that it doesn't suck because it definitely does... but we are figuring it all out. Jeremiah is also doing okay, there are a lot of new situations, routines, and expectations that make life stressful and overwhelming. As his routine becomes "normal" things will feel more manageable on his end too.

So here's to our temporary "normal", and to hoping that these next 255ish days just fly by. Happy February.

Monday, February 13, 2017

crossroads 2k16/17: iowa!

As if we haven't seen them enough this year (we haven't), we were able to spend yet another six days with Bryan and Lisagrace! We didn't really get out much since it's Iowa in December/January and there was a sickness that passed through (sapo! :shakes fist:). Amidst the negatives, we still made plenty of time to chill and enjoy real life hangouts, we even threw ourselves a rad New Year's Eve party that resulted in me still finding glitter in the apartment to this very day. The party will live on forever in our vacuum cleaner haha. Lisagrace received a loom for Christmas, AND bought me a loom for Christmas, so we spent a lot of our time crafting with the really ugly yarn that came in our kits haha. The guys spent time watching youtube, planning future podcasts to host, and making music together. We had the best time. 
In crossroads tradition, we took A LOT of "family photos" hahahahaha
How did we miss out on so many years of friendship when we lived in the same town?! We decided that maybe the world wasn't ready, but still. They have been the best to vacation with, to facetime with, to cry with, and to pretty much unload every thought and opinion with. They have been such a blessing. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2k16 book challenge.

Well, once again I did not manage to accomplish my own challenge of reading 30 books in a year. I ended 2015 at 77% of my goal and was like "this is totally reasonable, I'm going to crush it next year!".... (crickets)... I did worse in 2016.

2016 started out strong, but work became overwhelming and stressful AND we found out Jeremiah was deploying, so I became a little despondent. I love reading, but I just wasn't feeling myself or in the mood and I decided to waste time in less productive ways... neat right? ANYWAY, here's the list of books I did read in 2016... 

- Scary Close by Donald Miller
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
- (reread) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (do I even need to state the author?!)
- (reread) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
- (reread) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- (reread) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
- (reread) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- (reread) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- (reread) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Rest Haven by Erik Therme (how cool to have a friend's book on the list?!)
- Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany (we are just calling this poor fan-fiction, which is okay because it wasn't even totally written by her. it doesn't count.)
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (so good. loved it.)
- Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (meh, sloooow start) 
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
- Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (meh, could have been better)

I know that is a random assortment, and for the most part they were enjoyable. I choose the books I'm reading by what I feel like + what's available. I typically peruse end of the year NPR book lists, friends' book lists, and "must read in your life" book lists and add them all to my own "to read" (or reread) list and just read them in order of which ones I can borrow from the library on my Kindle haha. Clearly, our trip to Harry Potter world also had an effect on my choices for the year. 

For 2017 I am *once again* challenging myself to reading thirty books. One of these years I'll get it, haha. In the meantime, my Goodreads account will remind me that I need to get on it.