Monday, July 28, 2008

Crafting with Flora

Per your request, here is a picture of Flora in her "I Love My Nanny" bib that I designed for her. Another project recently inspired by my boredom was to make the letters of her name to hang on her wall. I first traced and cut the letter shapes out of styrofoam. Then I used hot-glue (the duct tape for women) to wrap the sides in white fabric.

Finally I filled the exposed styrofoam with artificial flowers, courtesy of Joann's 70% off clearance bin. The result is very colorful and fun, but it still hasn't quite made it to her wall yet!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mac's Middle Name is Lazarus

It was very still and dark last Thursday night, yet I had no impending sense of the doom about to befall. I sat at my desk playing Text Twist while I waited for Bryan to come online. Around 11pm I heard Skype's musical queue and abandoned my word scrambling to answer Bryan's call. Then it happened. Everything... stopped. Mac's screen turned pale gray like a face on a deathbed. His last words, "You must restart." I obediently turned him off, but he made no effort to turn back on for me. I felt like a doctor duped into an assisted suicide. I grasped his metal casing which I never cleaned or loved enough during his short life and cried, "Don't leave me!! You can't leave me like this!!" That night I repeatedly tried to turn Mac on, but it was too late. The flatline was buzzing; Mac was gone.

I went to bed dreading the arrangements I'd have to make for Mac's remains in the morning. At least I had finally (for the first time) backed up all my data last month. I thought about how kind it was that God didn't let me lose all my digital photos and illustrations. I'm sure those things are not essential to His life-plan for me, but he made sure I had them backed up before this happened. I was touched. We had a moment.

Friday morning I groggily stumbled to my desk out of habit and opened up Mac--then I sighed remembering the night before. One more try... I pressed the button and plastered my ear to the keyboard hoping to hear the whirring sounds of life inside. I did! I was shocked! I waited and watched as Mac started up just fine. I half expected to see him display an error message that said "Psych!" I never knew Mac was a prankster, but he got me good that night. I'm already thinking of ways that I can get him back--like downloading Windows Media Player or pricing new Macs online.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

One sunny afternoon I pulled in to Wal-Mart and found a parking space. As occasionally happens, my timing was just awkward enough that I came around the back of my car just in time to intercept another pedestrian heading for the doors. I didn't look closely at him, but my initial glance told me that he was older with a strong gait. He must've glanced my way too, because he noticed the "Marines" sticker on my car and said, "Are you in the Marines?" I smiled a little and considered saying yes, but instead opted for the truth and told him no, it's my husband who is the Marine. "Ah. Well tell him I said thank you for serving our country." To which I replied, "That's very considerate of you and yes, he deserves your thanks, but what am I? Chopped liver? Does a military wife not deserve your thanks, too? I put my wedding, my career, and my life on hold because I chose to love and support that man who's serving our country. I keep his morale high so that he doesn't become part of the statistic that Marines have the highest suicide rate of any military branch. I put up with all the crappy aspects of the military like ever-changing homecoming dates, rules that don't make sense, and moving cross-country every few years. I didn't sign a five-year contract that requires me to put up with all this; I'm voluntarily letting the Marines run my life because I know my husband needs me. My husband is the hero, but if he was here and not in Iraq he'd tell you to thank me, too, for making so many sacrifices and sticking by his side through everything we've endured together for the sake of service to our country."

Ok, so I didn't really say that whole last part, but I wanted to. When you're thanking a military hero, don't forget to also thank their spouse for persevering in a position that many could not handle. But please, do not thank me. I'm not asking for recognition from my family and friends who already know my plight...that would be a little weird. :) Next year I will no longer be a military wife, and I just hope that I won't forget the experience in years to come. And if I ever thank a military wife for her husband's service, I hope that I won't forget to thank her, too.