Military Spouse Life

Moving On Up…To Illinois

It’s really happening. We started packing recently and while it seems like I’ve spent enough time to pack an entire house on just packing one room, it’s ALL books and I’m not done with that one room!

This said, I hesitated several times when I was packing books on or by some of my favorite authors to be included in the book I am working on, Literary Crazy. If I find an agent to work with and can move forward on writing the rest of the book, I’ll need those materials. Knowing I have several other projects I can be working on, not to mention school, a newborn, a toddler, and the zoo of animals I live with, I packed all the books.

THEN BOOM!

Twitter hosted a pitching party where you use certain hashtags used by agents to find potential authors to work with. I found out about it last minute and sent my tweet anyway. Two tweets later, I had four interested agents!!!!!!!

I was beyond excited by which agents had requested more material, but now I must sit and wait. When I told Bill, he said I had better dig the books I packed back out because we rented a trailer to take the packed stuff back to Illinois over Thanksgiving! Now I’m not a superstitious person (well except for hockey…..and I’m pretty sure the Cubbies won the World Series because of my rituals…..in fact, I should call Theo Epstein and see where my ring is!) but I’m afraid to dig out the books/materials because if I do, the agents might not get back to me with good news. I know, I know……you’re rolling your eyes, I’m sure.

Instead of working on unpacking and repacking the mass amount of books to find what I need, I’m just working on other projects needing my attention. This consists mostly of article writing and trying to catch sleep when the kids let me!

I’m sure I will wait until the last minute (when Bill is loading the trailer to go to Illinois) to decide to pull out the books….which will be how the fight starts (just kidding).

Meanwhile, if you don’t hear from me, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! As I mentioned, we are headed to Illinois so little man can meet the family and we can start house hunting! Sadly, I don’t  care much about the house we buy, as long as it has a room for my writing and a space for my soap making. I’ll leave you with some pictures of what I’ve been working on in that department!

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Military Spouse Life

Well, Hello December

I don’t even know where to start!

Thanksgiving was awesome as I got to see my dads family AND my cousin Stephanie revealed some big news.

Actually my grandmother spilled the beans.

I was on the couch while grandma was at the other end talking to my cousin Shea. Technically, Shea is dating Stephanie, so he’s not blood related, but my family doesn’t care about that! Anyway, my grandmother asked Shea about the baby, and I overheard it….

“WHAT BABY, SHEA?” I wanted to know.

Shea hesitated. He can’t lie to me. It’s actually cute. He said he thought about telling me they got another dog (apparently it’s a family thing…not just Bill and I…..we ALL have rescues). As Shea stood there fidgeting, I took maters into my own hands and pushed passed him and my tiny grandmother (she’s MAYBE 80 pounds and 4’8″….she’s your quintessential Italian grandmother). I marched into the kitchen (which is a HUGE NO-NO when Aunt Lani is cooking) and demanded to know from Stephanie “what baby is Shea hiding?”

Sure enough, Stephanie is 10 weeks pregnant, which is so exciting for both of us since the kids will be close in age!

Bill and my dad came back in the house and in typical Tina fashion, I yelled out before anyone could say anything “STEPHANIE AND SHEA HAVE TO TELL YOU GUYS SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I can’t keep a secret. I just can’t. I give Christmas presents in November because I get so excited. I’m THAT person in the family.

Thankfully, my family gets me and Stephanie told my dad and Bill, who are both also excited. Grandma is 92 and has no idea she spilled the beans! It’s actually rather funny.

Back in Charleston the next day, Bill actually went with me to look at baby furniture on black Friday (this is HUGE for a combat vet with PTSD. In general, crowds are a BAD thing. Marines are trained to know where everyone is, what they are doing, and what they are about to do. Having so many people in an uncontrolled environment has to be complete chaos in their minds, and they tend to shy away from large groups.) It makes sense, but Bill wanted to look at baby furniture AND the recycle store for kids (think Goodwill for kids, but BETTER!) was having a 30% off the ENTIRE store sale. I’m so proud of Bill! He did great! We found a stroller for under $50.00, some clothes, and a sleeper, bouncer, thingy. I have no idea what it is, but she needed it!

Monday morning Bill woke me up at 0430 freaking out because at 0930 we were having an ultrasound and he couldn’t wait.

Both Bill and I were married before and he lost a son when his ex-wife was 7 months pregnant. She had preclampsia and did not know it (because she wasn’t going to the doctor like she should have been!) and so their son passed away. Bill was fighting in Iraq when it happened and had to fly home on emergency leave. They then returned him to Iraq (ugh) and when he returned to the states a few months later, his now-ex was sleeping with all of Camp Legeune. Bill is much more reserved about it than I am. I hate her for what she did to him. He didn’t deserve that in the least!

Anyway, I explained the situation to one of the midwives where we are having Talia (she also happens to be former military.) She decided to do another ultrasound for us since this is about the time in the pregnancy when Riley was lost, just to reassure Bill.

At 0730 Bill came in the bedroom and pounced on me to get up. Then he started texting me from throughout the house to get up so we could go see our baby girl. I watched him watch the ultrasound. You never saw a more proud daddy!

We went to breakfast after the ultrasound and got a call from his buddy Josh. I’ll make it short. Josh found out he was a baby daddy through a DNA test yesterday, and when he took a bunch of xanex and then came over and drank, he passed out on our couch. I called his parents so they knew he was safe. Turns out Josh is a recovering drug addict and we had NO idea. Some things did not add up, and we only knew him about a month, but I’m glad his parents came and got him and he is out of our lives now. Bill and I were all about helping him get set up with the VA and getting his benefits, only to find out he is not entitled to them because of a dishonerable discharge due to drug use. The whole thing came as a shock, and I’m really glad we found out now instead of later!

Lastly, IT’S DECEMBER!

I did not finish National Novel Writing Month. I am disappointed in myself, but I’m also trying not to be too hard on myself since I am pregnant, work full time, go to school full time, and have 5 dogs and a redneck to take care of. As it got closer to the deadline, I opted to not crank out words for the sake of a word count, but rather take my time and produce somewhat quality work.

I also did not get my book proposal finished and to my former professor on time. I did get him his pie for Thanksgiving though (priorities). So I’ll be working on the proposal more this week.

Phew!

It looks like December is going to be just as busy….oh, and Bill and I get married in 26 more days. Thank goodness it’s nothing big….but damn….this girl is BUSY!

Military Spouse Life

I’m a Mess!

I won’t lie, I have TOO MUCH going on! So I feel behind.

In school I blatantly did not do an English paper (on King Lear of all stupid things) because, well, I didn’t read the book. I bought it today on the Kindle on my computer……it’s actually rather scary how easy it is to buy a book on Kindle….good thing I much prefer books I can hold and have only downloaded a handful in my life. Anyway, I didn’t even have to enter a credit card…..hopefully there’s money in whatever bank account that is linked to!

For National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, people are starting to validate their novels and “win” as of this week. I’m at 16,500 of 50,000 words…..sooooooo I guess I know what I’m doing over the weekend. I’m off for the holiday, so I better bring my laptop along.

Wednesday, Bill is going to drop off a pie to my former English professor. I had planned on sending along my book proposal for my non-fiction book,for him to look at. Guess what isn’t done yet? I guess Professor Macy just gets pie and no light reading for the holiday!

A lot of not getting things done has to do with being pregnant. The person who said “you get your energy back in the second trimester,” LIED! She is sucking the ever loving life out of me….but, she is less than three months from being here (that is if she comes on her due date. Hopefully she is on daddy’s schedule and not mine! I’m forever late! In fact, I was born three weeks late, and only because they took me by force.) I wish she was here already! I hate waiting!

Tomorrow is a day filled with work and then PIE BAKING. This year, I don’t have a million orders for the bakery, since we are really just putting that on hold until we move home. I do have several for my family, the neighbors next door, and Josh’s family. Josh is someone I work with and Bill’s best friend. I don’t know if it’s the military bond, or what they have, but they are seriously inseparable. Luckily, Josh is a chef and is coming over to help bake tomorrow, so I’m not trying to do it all myself. I hate asking for help, but he’s insisting.

Lastly, I will leave you with this link to make you smile. I love ice hockey, and this video Bill found literally brought tears to my eyes! I have decided Bill loves hockey just for the violence….just kidding, but not really. Saturday night we went with some friends to the SC Stingrays game. After our team literally knocked out two teeth of a guy on the other team, the game came to another stop in the third period, when two yahoos beat on the glass so hard, it broke. Those two yahoo happened to be Bill and Josh. Chris helped, but not like those two. The glass did not actually shatter, but the metal bar holding the two glass plates together “popped” forward and was no longer securing the glass, so two of the panels were not secure. When they grabbed the president of the club to come look at it, I thought for sure we were all going home early. Actually, the ref gave them the thumbs up and told them “nice job,” which only encouraged them. My friend Michelle was sitting with her other half, Bryan, in a different part of the area….I at one point sent a text saying “I hope y’all can see whats going on from where you’re sitting, but yes, that is Bill and Josh who did that.” How many people get to say their other half stopped an ECHL game for three minutes one period for breaking the arena? As of right now, they are still rather proud of themselves. I’m sure it’s going to be one of those stories we hear forever…

I’m up at 0415 tomorrow, so time to sort through the pile of dogs on the bed, and see if I can find some room for myself!

Ciao for now!

Military Spouse Life

Love a Vet

November is always a crazy month with the start of the holidays, school being in session, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and of course, ICE HOCKEY SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So of course it’s the best time to also start a blog. Too bad I’ve neglected it the last week and a half (though I’m doing okay on Twitter if you would just log onto that and follow me at @tinarussokinney).

Today I’m finally off from work (playing waitress so we can put money away for the baby) and it is November 11th….VETERANS DAY.

Why is this so important? Well for me, it’s a day to honor my great grandfather (whose dog tag I still wear around my neck) who fought in WWII; my grandpa who fought in Korea, and of course, Bill….he is a vet of OIF/OEF (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom). I don’t understand why we just can’t call it like it is….a war. My (almost) husband fought in a war, but let’s be all PC about it now and call it an “operation.” Whatever. I digress.

My life is also blessed with a multitude of brothers and sisters I now have because of Bill. You hear people talk about their military “family” a lot, but until you’re actually blessed to be a part of it, you really can’t describe the feeling of knowing there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who would do anything for you (include give their life) because you are first and foremost, an AMERICAN, and because you are military affiliated.

Yesterday we celebrated the 239th US Marine Corps birthday by going out with another Marine (from Vietnam era) and his wife. I met them while working at the cafe I work at. I have the USMC Eagle, Globe, and Anchor proudly displayed on the back of my server book. He saw the sticker and asked if I served. I laughed. Nope. I did not serve. I recognize I have a problem with authority and would NEVER make it through boot camp, but I am in love with a Marine who did 8 years, 4 tours in the Middle East, hit 7 IED’s, rated for a Purple Heart, and who sadly is no longer physically fit enough to serve.

Before dinner, Bill and I hit up Mr. K’s Books (a used book store near us) and got him a book as a USMC Birthday present. Bill, in turn, picked out a few books for Talia (our baby!!!) He can’t wait to read to her! There is something so incredibly sexy about a man who not only reads, but is excited about teaching his daughter to read!

Right now Bill is in class (thank you GI Bill for footing the bill on that) and so I headed out to Barnes & Noble…one of my favorite places, so I could do a little work on my novel, my non fiction book proposal, and of course, this blog.

My goal is to get the non-fiction book proposal to my English Professor (along with a PIE) before Thanksgiving so he can look it over before I send it off. This only gives me a little over a week! I also have a 10 page history paper due on December 5th. Thankfully, I have a kick @$$ history professor, and he’s open to us choosing what our paper is on. The paper will actually end up being the sample chapter from the book proposal. It’s a total win-win! In English we are reading Chaucer, which, if you’ve never had the pleasure, absolutely hell!!!! It makes up for the fun of doing my history project!

So with that, I better get to writing…. If you see a Vet today, THANK THEM!