Road trippin'

Taking another road trip to the in-laws today with the cranky traveler. Wish me luck!


So close I can taste it...


My onions

Thank you for making me feel completely normal, and not like a terrible housewife for admitting that you've all been in the liquid onion/potato club. I love you guys.

I have to give Sara the award for best story though. Reproducing onions and then using them...awesome.


Fuzz is starting to bite. I know she's teething, but up until now she hasn't really been a biter. Once in awhile, but this last week it's becoming more regular. Any suggestions?

Please don't suggest I bite her back...that's not my thing.


Forgotten onions

When onions start turning to liquid it's time to throw them out, right? Eww.

Kids are funny

I was just being productive and going through all of our pictures and putting them in picture boxes when I found Stryker's letters and cards he received during his first deployment. He has saved every one. Or it seems like it anyway. I know snail mail seems silly since they have more access to computers and phones now, but they were obviously appreciated for him to save all of them.

One of his high school friends was teaching Sunday school at the time and had her kids make him pictures and write him a little note. Some are touching, most are hilarious. I love that she didn't inhibit what they wanted to say. A few examples...

I believe Martin is on his way to being a CEO. I hope Jaddin never loses that self esteem. And Cameryn, well, she's just a sweetie.

How big is Fuzz??

She's One!!!

Happy Birthday Fuzz, you fill our lives and hearts with joy and smiles.


Putzy Pretzels

Well, the funeral stuff starts tomorrow. They have the Patriot Guard coming in. From what I've seen and heard, this organization is amazing. They way the serve and respect our fallen and their families is just awesome.

I emailed G's wife yesterday, telling her that my thoughts and prayers are with her for these next few tough days. (Not that they all aren't going to be equally tough without him.) She replied that her family doesn't understand her attachment to the Army so it's been hard being back there with them. She feels so supported by her Army family and the Army community. I think that's wonderful that she's getting what she needs from them, and speaks volumes for our division.

As I was grocery shopping yesterday I was doing the dreaded "walk down every aisle because I didn't make a list". When I was walking down the baking goods aisle, I went to grab some chocolate chips and I saw the bags of toffee bits and I had a flashback.

A few months ago I made some loaded pretzels for Stryker. Pretzel rods cut in half, half dipped in caramel, and then rolled in a mixture of walnuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and toffee bits. They were the putzy goodies I was talking about here.

Anyway, he always shares his goodies, and G happened to get his hands on some of these pretzels. He loved them and asked Stryker if he would mind asking me to make him some. When Stryker asked me I was flattered, because there's nothing better than taking the time to make something for the guys and then have them love them. So I laughed and joked, "Of course he wants the putziest thing I've made so far!" Because really, isn't that the way it goes?

But I did make them, and I'm so glad I did. He was so excited when he got back and they were sitting on his cot.

I think when things start to settle down for his wife I will make some and send them to her.


Belly giggles

Tonight, Fuzz and I were playing while I was on the phone with Stryker and I got her going into those deep belly giggles. It. Was. Awesome. It made me laugh, and it made Stryker laugh. I think it was something we both needed.


Wanted: Brownie points

Well, my MIL left about an hour ago, and dare I say...it was enjoyable. I'm not sure if she was genuinely nice, being two-faced, or just trying to rack up some extra points before Stryker gets home so I don't hold him hostage (I truly believe she's thinks I'm behind him not wanted to spend every waking moment at their house), but it was a nice visit. She brought me flowers, "because it was a rough week". And she took me out to dinner. I know I said nothing surprises me anymore, but this did!



Today was *G*'s memorial in Iraq. Sounds like it was pretty emotional, but nicely done and was a good step in providing some closure for the guys. I'm feeling better, thanks for all the well wishes.

On some other fronts, MIL, and dad drama ensue. Surprise! See? You thought everything was going fine with my MIL, didn't you? Well I just haven't been talking to her much...the solution to everything...avoidance.

Here's her latest...

She called me earlier this week and mentioned she wanted to come visit this weekend. Fine. She said she'd call later on in the week and let me know which day, etc. Not sure why when she was thinking about coming she couldn't just pick a day, but whatever. That's her style. So this morning I emailed her asking if she was still planning on coming and what day, because I hadn't heard anything from her. I told her tomorrow worked better for me. Never wrote back. So by 5, 6 o'clock, I figured she just wasn't coming.

Fast forward to 9:20PM. She calls. Yes, that's right, 9:20 tonight. She thinks they will come later in the afternoon, is that ok? Do you have plans? I didn't hesitate to tell her that I figured she wasn't coming because she didn't write back. Oh, she went to my BIL's school to drop some stuff off and then got home and thought, "I better call Kiki!" Crazy woman.

Yes, I'll sit here and clear my weekend schedule on the off chance that you actually decide to come. And then, when you decide you aren't going to, I'll have nothing to do for the weekend. Love it.

I'll save my dad for a different day...it's at least a 2 parter.


Bad day

I can't even get excited for R&R because I have convinced myself he's not coming home.

I realized that I had already convinced myself of this before *G*'s death, but it's even worse now. It's times like this that I hate being an army wife.


Adios Gimini

I just wanted to let everyone know, I found Gimini, and all is peaceful again in the Kiki household.

Gimini cricket!

There is an obnoxious cricket that made it's way into my house somehow. However it's only loud and obnoxious until I go looking for it, at which point it becomes quiet. Stupid cricket.

Wordless Wednesday

Come home safe...


And all of a sudden, it's real

First off, thanks to everyone for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. They mean a lot.

I have not been able to stop thinking about this all day. I keep reliving it over and over in my head. I can practically see the attack as it occurred.

The phone rings at 7:41AM, Stryker. I can tell something isn't right. He says in this quiet, sensitive voice, "Did you get word?" Me, "No...what" Him, "*G*'s dead." I said, in a horrified voice with my heart in my throat, "No!"

I held it together for him, listened, tried to comfort him, and when we hung up the tears just came. This is the first fatality that has really hit close to home for me. Yes, they have had other fatalities in the brigade, but I didn't know them, so I was still able to keep the distance.

I know this guy, he held Fuzz, his wife and I have been emailing each other throughout this deployment. He was just home on R&R in July, got back and two weeks later he's gone. How horrific.

My heart is breaking for so many people. His wife, all I can think about is his wife. Is she ok? What is she doing right now? What can I do for her? The guy who was working on him screaming at him to hang in there. Because I know him, I feel so much...I can hear him screaming at *G*, I can see the look on his face. Oh my God, I know all of these guys.

Stryker was understandably upset when I talked to him this morning. He feels guilty that *G* took his old job and now he's gone. He feels grateful that he's ok. And then he feels guilty that he feels grateful. He's afraid that *G*'s wife is going to blame him. He also feels guilty that he hasn't been telling me much. At one point in our conversation he said, "I haven't been telling you a lot of what's going on here, and I'm sorry." Baby, do not worry about that. I know that you are just trying to keep me from worrying, and it doesn't upset me.

Now they turn around 2 or 3 days later and have to just jump back in. How can they do that? How can they be expected to do that? I am amazed by the strength and the capabilities of our military men and women. I am so proud of them. Who else could go out there after losing someone you've known and seen almost every day of your life for five years, and get the job done? I'm in awe. I know that they will probably carry this loss with them for the rest of their lives and it's not going to be easy.

We truly have some of the strongest, finest people out there. Here's to you *G*, here's to you.


About a month ago, my husband was moved to a different squad in order to do a different job. One that requires him to be inside the vehicle at most times opposed to being out and walking around. This morning he called and told me that the guy who's place he traded with is dead. Suicide bomber.

At this point, there aren't many words.


Close your eyes and imagine...

Lately at night, if I really think about it, I can feel Stryker's arms wrapped around me. I love it that I can feel his closeness even when he's not here, but at the same time it makes me sad and really makes me miss him.

I can't wait for R&R.


100 posts already?

I love it when I'm baking cookies and occasionally one turns out ugly when I take it off the sheet, because that means I get to eat it. :)

It has to turn around soon...right?

Let me just say that it's hard to stay positive when all kinds of crappy things keep happening! First the wedding, then the MIL, now tonight, my grandpa leaving me a nasty voicemail, and then hanging up on me when I call him back, and shortly after that, finding out that my cousin's wedding I was planning on going to in November that is across the country is "no kids". Of course no one told me that until tonight and of course I have already purchased my airline ticket, reserved the hotel room, and reserved a rental car. AAAHHHHH!


Shout out

I know that a lot of what I've been writing lately has been pretty negative. Here is something that is just melt-my-heart positive.

I am amazed by the generosity of strangers. One particular stranger actually. Katie's mom emailed me shortly after I sent all the 4th of July packages to Stryker saying that she had a bunch of beanie babies she wanted to donate for the soldiers to give to the children.

I couldn't believe it. My little blog? It was heartwarming. Tonight she informed me that she has six...SIX large flat rate boxes to send. Not only with beanie babies, but other snacks and goodies as well. Not only that but she also offered kind words of support and encouragement for me. Wow. Most of my friends and family aren't that thoughtful. Thank you. Thank you so much. You have proven to me that there are still wonderful people in the world, willing to do amazing things for strangers.


Wordless Wednesday

Yes that's the printer, no I didn't put her there



I opened my mailbox today to find a wedding invitation. Postmarked yesterday, for a wedding in 24 days. I will put money on it she called...AGAIN.

I will not even be sending it back. This invite doesn't warrant a response.


Does anyone know?

Sis B recently wrote about being called back to active duty through the individual ready reserve. My husband is in almost the identical boat. He was also stop lossed to finish the deployment as well as the stabilization time afterward.

My question is this...does anyone know what the current involuntary recall policy is? A couple years ago we knew of all kinds of people who got out and then were recalled, but I haven't heard of any that I know lately.




I have been thinking about all the issues I've had with her lately and I think I've figured a few things out.

She didn't change when I thought she had. It's just that, when I thought she had changed, Stryker had just deployed for his first tour, and I didn't have nearly as much contact with her as I did before Stryker left. Once Stryker was back from his first tour he was back at his duty station, so I still didn't have much contact with her. Then in that summer we got married and I moved to the duty station as well and whenever she called, she talked to him, so I didn't really ever talk to her. Therefore, she didn't change, I just didn't have to deal with her very often.

Unfortunately, now I'm closer, and by myself, and she happens to be crazy about Fuzz, so I have to deal with her...by myself. She makes me want to move far far away again.

On Wednesday, she emailed me again: Can you email me your address I want to make sure I have it correct- I'm afraid I may have it wrong and gave the wrong address to [the rude happy couple] if you have not gotten their invitation yet.

Honest to Pete, this must have been the 7th time I've given her our address. So I wrote her back: Our address is: [some cute duplex with noisy neighbors] but at this point, I don't even want an invite.

Note how I made sure to say "Our" address, lest she forget this is his home too. :) I haven't heard anything back from her since.

And apparently she was whining to Stryker's sister, either about being worried about not seeing him much during R&R or about not being able to go to the airport to pick him up, because SIL was kind of telling me about it while I was there on Sunday. She is smarter and more mature than her mother, because she gets it. When MIL said (whiny voice) "But I miss him!", SIL said "But mom, he needs to spend time with his family."

I love that girl. Every time I see her I am amazed by how mature she is becoming and what a wonderful young woman she is turning into.

So just for safe measure, I sent MIL the link to this site. I'm hoping she finds this piece. It's the first one posted on the "Army parents" section. Hehe, is that evil?


So...make me feel a little better and tell me: What's your worst in-law story?


The dishwasher is fixed.

Is it pathetic that I am so excited about that?