August 1, 2011

Month 2 in Review and Weekend in Indiana!

Welcome, August -- let's get started so that you can hurry up and get out of here, ok? Now that my weekend in Indiana has come and gone, we are officially in countdown mode around here. While I sort of wanted the past two months to hang around a little because I knew I'd get to see my hubs at the end of them, now I am 100% ready for the next few to fly by as fast as possible. Busy weeks? Bring them on. Weekends that speed right on through? You won't find me complaining. Of course this week has dripped by slower than molasses, but I'm really hoping that time is going to start to speed up again soon.
Today marks the end of our first two months, which is exciting and yet a little sad all at the same time. For the past two months, Dan has been training and working in a safe environment with pretty decent communication. Soon that will all change, and this month especially our contact may get a little bit more difficult. I'm really dreading this, but I keep reminding myself that it's out of my control. I know Dan will do his best to stay in touch as he is able, but at this point he has a job to do that is much more important than a phone call home, in the long run.
July really did go by quickly, since I did a little traveling and work kept me extremely busy. I spent a few days at the beginning of the month visiting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and celebrated the 4th of July with my dad, stepmom, and grandmother. I spent part of another weekend visiting a good friend in my college town. I went on several long runs and eventually worked my way up to half-marathon distance, which is lucky, because I registered for one! I took a rather rough and embarrassing tumble during one run, and my poor knees have been healing ever since. 
There are also a few things I didn't do as much of this month that I'd like to get back to: I started watching a few movies but never finished them, started an excellent book but haven't found much time to read, and I've been slacking a little bit around here, as well. I cooked a few meals but not as many as I'd like, and surprisingly I only baked once in the past month. Hopefully August will bring lots of time to catch up on these kinds of things that I love doing but often don't make enough time for.
The best part of the last month, however, was certainly last weekend, which I got to spend with my sweet hubby. We had an absolutely fantastic time and were able to laugh a lot, despite the less-than-laughable circumstances surrounding our time together. We spent a lot of time with three lovely people: T, who is heading out with Dan, his wife N, who lives about an hour away and has become a wonderful friend, and their adorable 3-month old, who might just be the cutest little girl you could ever meet (besides my niece, of course!). 
N and I flew in together on Thursday night and we all shared a very happy reunion in the hotel lobby around midnight. On Friday, the five of us spent time exploring the suburbs of Indianapolis, eating at a cute old ice cream parlor, and doing a little shopping. That night, Dan and I headed out for dinner and a movie:
We were able to catch it in an IMAX theater, which I think was worth the atrocious ticket price (but barely). Dan loved it, and I was so glad we were able to see it together. Unfortunately I managed to forget my camera charger at home, meaning that I have no pictures of anything until that evening, when we stopped at a Walmart on the way back to the hotel.
Saturday the five of us headed off to the zoo early in an attempt to beat the heat, and we were relatively successful. It was incredibly hot, but we were able to do the outside activities early enough that by noon, we were sitting at a dolphin show and cruising through the blissfully air-conditioned aquarium.
Dan even made a new friend, who has headed off to travel with him for the next few months:
That afternoon, we I did some serious damage at an outlet mall and then headed back to the hotel for a well-deserved nap. In the evening, Dan and I drove into downtown Indianapolis:

for dinner here:
Oh. my. yum. This was quite possibly the best meal I've had all year. I got a fantastic cosmo, an appetizer of homemade potato chips with cheesy-scallion dip (calories don't count on vacation, remember?) and an incredible sandwich with chicken, cheese, and spinach-artichoke dip on wonderful toasty bread. Even the lemon-garlic aioli I dipped my fries in was heavenly. Dan had wings that he said were spicy but good and fish and chips which he also seemed to enjoy. Apparently there are several locations of this restaurant, and I wish there was one closer to home!
On Sunday we ran a few errands, picked up some last-essentials for Dan to take with him, and managed to stop by two of his favorite places: Starbucks and Panera. Yum! That night we ate dinner at a sketchy mexican restaurant (my fault, really, but we still had fun). I insisted that we take a few pictures on our way out -- despite some difficulty getting us both in the shot, we managed to get a couple good ones:
Dan's attempt...
... a little unsure about where to look...
... finally figured out where to focus...
... and finally a good one while we laugh at ourselves.
I am so lucky to have a husband who laughs with me! Despite the fact that I wanted to cry so many times during that last night together, he always kept me smiling. 
I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a few tears the next day, though, as we prepared to say goodbye. The five of us met for lunch at Chili's in an effort to celebrate Dan's birthday before N and I had to fly home. By 3:30, though, we had to take the guys back to post and head for the airport, sniffling and very sad. Dan and I have said goodbye many, many times in our 6+ years, for varying lengths of time and under lots of different circumstances, but there is no doubt that this was by far the hardest. We don't know for sure how long we will be apart, but we are pretty positive that it will be longer than ever this time. We don't know how much we will be able to talk, whether we will get to skype, or whether much of our contact will be limited to letters and the occasional email. But as hard as it is to face the next 10 months of such unknown, I do know one thing for sure: there is no one I'd rather get through it with. No matter how hard it is to be apart, weekends like the one we had together remind me that it will all be worth it in the end, when he is home and we are able to share our lives again.
So here's to making it through the last two months, and hoping that the next 10 will fly by. I can't ever remember a year when I was looking forward to fall and the holidays being over, but I'm more than ready for next spring already, please!



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