May 31, 2008


I know I am so absolutely going to have a girl...because I cannot stand baby clothes for girls. I am all about trucks and baseballs and turtles. I hate the flowers and butterflies.

My mother and I took a trip through the baby section today, and it's slim pickin's for a girl, especially if you don't want her to look like a tramp. Yes, even baby clothes are following this trend. I noted the following sayings on girl clothes 3-6 months today:

Spoiled Rotten
Princess With Attitude
Bling Bling

Yes, that's right: Bling Bling. On a shirt covered in diamonds and dollar signs. I mean, why don't we just go ahead and buy her the Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset and be done with it?

Ugh. I'm so having a girl.

She will wear baseballs and puppies for the first year. With one of those scrunchie bands around her head so people can tell she's a girl.

Posted by Sarah at 02:46 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

May 30, 2008


People who write at DailyKos are hilarious.

More frequently than not, military families lean conservative because, they figure, the conservatives like pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into the military industrial complex without any sense of accountability for how those dollars are spent.

Did you know that when you join the military, you have to decide whether you're conservative or liberal? Most people decide to become conservative.

Yes, I just love all the unaccountability in the Army. It's my favorite part. I love when they pump senseless dollars into stupid ideas. That's why I'm a conservative!

Thank goodness I decided to join the party that throws money down a hole. Not like those pesky Democrats, who are completely accountable for every dollar they spend.

Yay, Republicans! Now let's see if we can get the cost of the Iraq war to equal the cost of public education! Take that, liberals!


Posted by Sarah at 11:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 29, 2008


"Are you nervous?" my mother asked as we drove to the hospital this morning. "No," I said, "I just want to know the answer either way." I was prepared for both answers; I just wanted one of them.

When we finally got situated, which felt like it took forever, the nurse pulled up the ultrasound on a big screen.

"This is the gestational sac, where the baby lives," the nurse said. My mother got giddy and clapped her hands together like a little girl. "Hold your horses," I said wryly. "We had one of those last time, but there was nothing in it."

"This is the yolk sac, which will provide nourishment to the baby until the placenta forms," she continued.

"And this right here, this little grain of rice that's half a centimeter long, this is your baby." She zoomed in, and like magic we saw a rapidly beating heart. "That's the heart, right?" I cautiously asked.

It was. Beating 160 beats per minute. Going to town.

Everything looks good for where we're supposed to be. And happily, this is further than we got the last time.

I was kind of stunned. And so was my husband when I told him. He expected to be comforting me while I cried today; instead, I told him to get ready for his first Father's Day.

I was disappointed when she turned off the machine and made me go home; I could've watched that heartbeat all day long.

And just now I found the most wonderful sentence I've ever read on the internet:

A visible heartbeat could be seen and detectable by pulsed doppler ultrasound by about 6 weeks and is usually clearly depictable by 7 weeks. If this is observed, the probability of a continued pregnancy is better than 95 percent.

We still have a ways to go before we're out of the woods, but this is a heck of a good start.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Now that this is off my shoulders, I can get back to our regularly scheduled programming of ranting about 20 year old movies and dating advice on MSN.

And knitting. Lots of little knitting.

Posted by Sarah at 03:48 PM | Comments (53) | TrackBack

May 28, 2008


I'm home from my vacation. I head to the hospital in the morning for an ultrasound to hopefully get an idea of what's going on. Tomorrow morning, something will happen that will drastically change my life, either for better or for worse.

I can't help but think that my life feels like a Choose Your Own Adventure right now.

In one storyline, we find out that the baby is dead. We have to figure out what to do next. Maybe I have to have another D&C. I'll have to find someone to go with me to the hospital if I do. And then I have to wait months to not be pregnant again. And then perhaps continue with the fertility treatments as planned. Or not, depending on whether this second failed pregnancy is another fluke or a symptom of a bigger problem. I see months of looming questions.

In the other storyline, we see a heartbeat tomorrow morning and realize all seems to be going well, despite the odds. I get excited. I take photos of myself getting bigger and fatter to send to my husband in Iraq. I write letters about kicking and ultrasounds. I sweat it out at the end of the pregnancy, hoping my husband will make it home before the baby arrives. And he returns to a new family and a lot of happiness.

I have already lived both scenarios in my mind over the past few days, and I think I've already felt all the possible emotions. I lie in bed and feel my heart racing when I start to think about it too much. One of these things is going to happen to me tomorrow.

I just don't know which one.

And honestly, the scariest thought is that something in between will happen. They won't be able to tell. The ultrasound won't be conclusive. We'll have to wait another week to know for sure. The agony of unknowing will drag on.

I don't know when I'll tell you the results. As usual, I want my husband to know before I put it on the internet, which means waiting for him to be able to contact me from Iraq. Don't call me tomorrow, because I won't answer the phone until I've talked to my husband.

One of these adventures is going to be my own tomorrow.
Sadly, I don't get much of a choice in the matter.

Posted by Sarah at 08:10 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

May 24, 2008


My father is the oldest of 13 children, so this weekend there are 42 of us together for my grandparents' 60th anniversary. And when you have that many family members, the gene pool is big enough that you can trace family resemblances across generations and branches of the family tree. Naturally one of the favorite games is to figure out who the young kids look the most like.

This evening all of us were in church together, lining the pews in family order. I was looking around at everyone, noticing how much my little 6 year old cousin looks like the old black and white photos of my father, noticing how much the back of my uncle's head looks like my little brother's, noticing which kid looks like his mom and which like his dad. And all of a sudden, my thoughts turned to the baby inside me.

Consciously or subconsciously, I have put the baby out of my mind. I convinced myself that there was nothing to be happy about and nothing to get my hopes up for. With all the excitement of 42 people in the house, I have not thought about the baby at all, not felt pregnant, not thought myself pregnant.

But in the quiet of church, as I looked at all these kids who look like their parents and aunts and uncles, I suddenly wanted a baby that looks like my husband. And like a flash, I remembered that a baby is inside of me now. And I wanted it to be alive so badly.

I started weeping silently in church.

Luckily my mother handed me a kleenex. And extra-luckily, the kleenex had a chewed up piece of gum in it. That made me giggle and helped me calm down.

And then the vocalist began a special song for Memorial Day.

I had never heard the song "More Than A Name On The Wall" before, and it hit me hard. Especially this part:

She said, "He really missed the family, being home on Christmas Day
And he died for God and country in a place so far away
I remember just a little boy, playing war since he was three
And Lord this time I know, he's not coming home to me."

My thoughts turned to Debey and her Gunnar, and I realized how stupidly selfish I was feeling. I was spending my Memorial Day service feeling sorry for myself. It was the reality check I needed. I stopped my silly crying and focused my thoughts to where they belong this weekend, to Gunnar and Sean and all the others like them who deserve to be memorialized.

I won't make the same mistake the rest of the weekend.

Posted by Sarah at 08:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 22, 2008


Dear Husband,

Something is fishy with my grandma's internet. Every time I try to email you, it gets an "internal error" and shuts down. So I can't write to you, but you could write to me. I can still read email, just not send it.

And you can always call (wink wink).

I love you,

Posted by Sarah at 08:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack



I hope you read this. I am at my grandma's house on her dial-up, but every time I try to send you an email, the computer gets an "internal error" and kicks me off the internet. So I can't write to you, but if you write to me, I can read emails. Just not write them. I don't get it either.

And you can always call (wink wink).

I love you,

Posted by Sarah at 08:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2008


I am heading to my grandparents' for the long weekend. I am leaving my warm weather and heading north. Too north. I am also leaving my internet connection, so I doubt there will be much posting for the next week. Hopefully there will at least be sustained contact with the husband.

As always, don't have too much fun without me.

Posted by Sarah at 09:31 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008


For the longest time, Notes From the Olive Garden was missing in cyberspace. I could read that thing a hundred times and still want to read it again. I missed it. There was a gap in the internet that hurt my heart.

I missed it tonight and went searching again. Found it, reproduced elsewhere.


Posted by Sarah at 09:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


So I've been in season finale heaven this week, with all sorts of major characters dying and stuff. It's been a wild ride, and letters to my husband have been filled with synopses of shows because I'm a dork like that.

But I watched the finale of House, and what was the deal with the extremely conspicuous Obama bumper sticker on the hospital bathroom wall? How out of place and jarring was that? I mean, come on with the agenda.

Posted by Sarah at 08:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Ruth emailed me and reminded me of the origin of my name, that Abraham's wife also had trouble conceiving.
She cracked me up.
Please Lord, do not make me wait until I am 90 to have a baby.

Posted by Sarah at 01:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Mare noticed my previous post and sent me another crap MSN article. Oh no, it's on.

Things a Man Should Never Do in the Company of a Woman

Reveal how much your car cost.
-- In my husband's case, it would be how little his car cost, since he prides himself in small car payments. And also how low the mileage is: we have a six-year-old car with 45,000 miles on it.

Clean your gun.
-- Not even. This is hot. You should definitely do this in front of me.

Polish high school trophies (which you still have displayed).
-- OK, this one is lame. But how many people are doing this? Oh wait, hang on, I fall into this category. I still proudly display an award I received when I ran high school track because it was an award for the person who put out the most effort despite being handicapped by a natural inability to run fast. I worked my tail off on that track to be good, and I had no God-given talent to rely on. That award is important to me. If my husband had something like that, you can darn well believe that I'd let him keep it and polish it whenever he wanted to.

Refer to your mother as your best friend.
-- Isn't it a good thing for a guy to love his mother?

-- My husband doesn't do this really, but sometimes he does quote rap songs as if he's quoting Mark Twain or Socrates, and it is hilarious when he does it.

Check out our assistant/roommate/the baby-sitter.
-- The last time my husband came home from Iraq, he had spent 13 months without seeing a woman. (He was on an all-male combat arms FOB.) He stared like crazy when he got home, not out of disrespect for me but because it was such a novelty. It didn't bother me in the least.

Question our footwear.
-- I've had my husband question my footwear. You know, when I was wearing inappropriate footwear. He's no dummy; he knows that cute little sandals are gonna hurt like hell after lots of walking.

Blow-dry your hair.
-- High and tight. No need for this one. I think my dad blow dries his hair in the winter sometimes. I dare anyone to say my dad isn't manly enough.

Tip less than 20 percent.
-- My husband is fine in this department. I'm the one who's Mr. Pink.

Celebrity impressions.
-- His Cartman and Slingblade make me laugh.

Impressions of us.
-- So does his impression of me. I sound an awful lot like Glenn Beck's wife, and it makes me crack up. Gosh, I wish I could hear him do it now.

Forget to carry cash.
-- What a dumb addition to this list.

Flip it, flop it, swing it around, tug on it, adjust it, scratch it, or do anything that will remind us that it's just a goofy appendage and not a mystical source of pleasure and satisfaction.
-- Weird.

-- He doesn't have one. He has an old PS2 and old games from 2002, because he made a pimp decision.

Boot and rally.
-- I have no idea what this means.

Scream—at the dog, at the guy who just stole your parking spot, at Bill Belichick. Because, no matter how much Belichick deserves it (cheater!), when we hear you raise your voice, we have an idea of what we're in for.
-- My husband does have a tendency to shout at the TV, but I'm getting used to it. And if that's his only fault, then I can live with it.

Talk about former exploits. Ever.
-- Not a problem in our house.

Use the words bitch, slut, tramp, or whore, unless referring to another man.
-- He uses them when they're approproately funny. Sometimes about women. Deal with it.

Tell us you're going to kiss us. (Just get on with it!)
-- Had to throw in something cutesy there, right? Just to offset all the carping, bitchy other things you put in the rest of the list.

I thought I'd try, in Rachel Lucas fashion, to come up with a list of things women shouldn't do in front of men. But the whole concept is just dumb. Let men be men and women be women. If you like hanging out together, then you like the whole package. Why on earth do you want to be with a man who is reprogrammed to act like a woman? There is not a thing I can think of that my husband can't do in front of me, farting included. And there is not a thing he can say to his buddies that he can't say in front of me. Because I love him and I love everything about him. He doesn't need to hide part of his personality so I will stay with him.

He's perfect just the way he is.

Posted by Sarah at 11:12 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


I almost passed this off as not worth my time, but I can't let it go. I read this dumb list of 18 things a grown man shouldn't have. Most of them I can agree with and my husband doesn't do. Some are things I actually do, like quote The Big Lebowski. But the kicker is the beer one: "Any beer that costs less than $20 a case."

First of all, part of being a grown up is realizing what you like and not buying something more expensive just so you can look cool. My husband doesn't have to drink with the label out, so he buys what he likes or he buys what's on sale. And he takes the money he saved that way and invests it in his retirement fund. That is definitely one thing a grown man should have.

Second of all, time and time again blind taste tests show that people don't know their favorite beer from a hole in the ground.

Blind Beer Recognition: The Quaffer's Nightmare
Booze You Can Use

One quote from that Slate taste test says it all:

In addition to saying which beers they preferred, the tasters were asked to estimate whether the beers were expensive or not--in effect, to judge whether other people would like and be impressed by the beers. One taster perfectly understood the intention of this measure when he said, in comments about Beer B (Heineken), "I don't like it, but I bet it's what the snobs buy."

And doing something just because you think it's socially acceptable or because you think others will regard you highly for it, that is not at all something a grown man should do.

A grown man is comfortable in his own skin. He will drink Pabst in public.

Posted by Sarah at 08:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 19, 2008


I've had several people from my high school find my site, but that's because they were googling something local that I had written about. But only twice, as far as I know, have people from my real life found me by coincidence via other blogs. The first time was right when I started blogging, when a friend found me via LT Smash (hi, Oda Mae!) And today, my husband's former ROTC instructor found me via FbL's post at Castle Argghhh and realized he just might know this Sarah in real life.

So the first time he comes here, what is there to see? Lots of baby posts, an ode to buttons, an Emily Dickinson poem, and a liveblog of Rambo, for pete's sake. How embarrassing.

I really need to get some higher quality stuff up here pronto.

I promise, I wrote about Machiavelli over at SpouseBUZZ the other day. I'm not a complete mommyblogger moron who looks at shiny buttons all day long.

Posted by Sarah at 09:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Do you have the time
To listen to me whine
About nothing and everything
All at once
I am one of those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone
No doubt about it

Well, we're still pretty much in the same boat. My levels rose but didn't come anywhere near double.
So they're not falling, but they're not exactly conclusively good.
Now we just wait until the ultrasound on the 29th to see if we see a heartbeat.
I don't know if I should be happy or sad, honestly.
I have no idea what's going on.
We have a 15% chance for a successful pregnancy.
Maybe worse, considering the fate of our last pregnancy.
This may be the longest ten days of my life.
I also look like a heroin addict with bruises and needle marks from giving too many vials of blood.

Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I'm cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
Or am I pregnant...

Posted by Sarah at 11:17 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack


Greyhawk has a good post about how two-faced the Democrats are. Senator Harkin flipped out four years ago because Bush/Cheney didn't have enough military experience and John Kerry did, but now that the Republican nominee has way more military experience than the Dem candidates, now Harkin says that too much military service is a bad thing.

For heaven's sake. Someone needs to remind these people that teh internets keep copies of their old statements.

Posted by Sarah at 09:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Obama says this about his chances in Kentucky:

"What it says is that I'm not very well known in that part of the country," Obama said. "Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle."

No, this is not a made-up quote from The Onion. He actually believes this, apparently. Problem is, a quick glance at a U.S. map reveals that Illinois actually borders Kentucky and is clearly closer than Arkansas. Illinois is also closer to West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Obama has been scaring me with these frankly Bushian statements for months, and this one is a whooper.

One quick quibble: Obama is from Chicago, not Illinois. To anyone from that state, that distinction is obvious. Chicago doesn't border Kentucky, so why on earth would he care if the southern rednecky part of Illinois touched rednecky Kentucky? Come on, Kentucky is way more like Arkansas than Chicago. Everyone knows this, right? That's where all the bitter gun nuts and Jesus freaks are. Saying so isn't elitist or condescending at all.


"Some of those states in the middle." Excuse me while I barf.

Posted by Sarah at 09:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 18, 2008


Because there has been absolutely no public demand for this whatsoever, I thought I'd liveblog Rambo II. Ahem, I mean Rambo: First Blood II.

They're gonna let Rambo out of prison to go find POWs. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.
Oh sweet, John Kreese is in it. No mercy.
Wait, he just takes photos of POW camps? Not cool. I imagine there will be little photo taking and lots of asskicking.
I think they made Rambo extra sweaty on purpose.
"What you choose to call hell, he calls home."
Oh niiiice, gratuitous bulging bicep close-ups while he sharpens his knife.
Danger in the air! He's cutting away his supplies! This is gonna be good.
He choked a snake. Take that, Jeff Corwin.
Aw, what's this? A chick? Come on. Don't mess up my action movie with chicks. Is this a kissing book?
"A quiet war, a war against the soldiers who were returning, the kind of war you don't win."
I knew it! Screw the photos; he's going in!
Those poor POWs, locked up and being tortured. How are they ever going to learn to be anti-war?
arrow to the head = sweet
oooh, RPG action
Oh man, I knew something was rotten in the state of Denmark with that Murdock guy. They're leaving Rambo to be captured!
The Vietcong plus Russians: could we get a better coalition of bad guys?
Oooh, Murdock, you're boned! Heh.
OK, maybe this chick isn't so bad. Plus now Rambo's shirt is gone.
Popcorn break.
Aaaah! It is a kissing book.
Oh snap. I totally did not see that coming. So much for the kissing.
Dang, I don't care if he's 5'1"; Stallone is ripped. Also he wrote Rocky in three days, so he rules.
That mud camouflage was awesome.
Pistol vs exploding bow and arrow. Rock n roll.
How awesome to strafe a POW camp. That embiggened my heart.
Uh oh. Those sneaky phucking Russians. Nice job, POW door gunner.
Crap. Blackhawk down.
OOOOOOHHHH. Kaboom. Nice fake, Rambo. Wicked.
Watch out, Murdock. Rambo's comin' for ya. I hope he puts that knife in your gut.
John Kreese gets it squaa in the nuts.
And Rambo shoots his gun in the air and says aaaaaah. How Hot Fuzz of him.
"I want for our country to love us as much as we love it." Hooah.

Apparently, this movie was called the worst movie of 1985. There's no accounting for some people's bad taste. Also Rocky IV came out that year, which means it was a pretty stellar year in my book.

Ha, well, I'm sure none of you care about this post, but I sure entertained myself doing it.

Posted by Sarah at 07:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I heard a joke the other day. It seems that Bush and the Pope were fishing when the Pope's hat flew off. One of the secret service agents was getting ready to dive into the water to retrieve the hat when Bush stopped him. Bush calmly got out of the boat, walked on the water and retrieved the Pope's hat. The Pope was inpressed. The next day's headline in the NYT was "Bush Can't Swim."

Remember when they ran this headline: "As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch"? Now that's spin. There's something remarkable about being able to take something so positive and twist it into a negative.

Apparently they just did it to McCain too. I am speechless:

There is a feeling among some of McCain’s fellow veterans that his break with them on Iraq can be traced, at least partly, to his markedly different experience in Vietnam. McCain’s comrades in the Senate will not talk about this publicly. They are wary of seeming to denigrate McCain’s service, marked by his legendary endurance in a Hanoi prison camp, when in fact they remain, to this day, in awe of it. And yet in private discussions with friends and colleagues, some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.

McCain doesn't understand Vietnam because he spent the whole time being beaten and locked up in a tiger cage instead of celebrating Christmas in Cambodia with a magical hat.

You have to be effing kidding me.

Not all of McCain’s fellow veterans subscribe to the theory [...] But some suspect that whatever lesson McCain took away from his time in Vietnam, it was not the one that stayed with his colleagues who were “in country” during those years — that some wars simply can’t be won on the battlefield, no matter how long you fight them, no matter how many soldiers you send there to die.

Oh gosh, John McCain learned the wrong things in Vietnam. See, we all had this life changing experience that was supposed to make us hate war and hate the US. But John McCain won't play by the rules. He was too busy being locked up with people who took their oaths seriously, who bolstered each other and knew that their countrymen were looking for them and would rescue them someday. He was too busy refusing the Vietcong's offer to release him. And he was too busy saluting the flag, a makeshift flag that Mike Christian sewed out of handkerchiefs, despite the massive beating he got for doing it.

Poor John McCain...he learned to love his country during Vietnam instead of hating it.

What a stupid man.

Posted by Sarah at 09:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 17, 2008


More Things I Love

Hot Fuzz (We did watch it last night)
these otters
the end of "A Quick One While He's Away" when she is forgiven
Barry Pepper
saltimboca alla romana
the music video for the Green Day song "Warning"
bourbon slush
writing letters
the beginning of Idiocracy
meeting a blogger for the first time
Henry Knox
the internet funeral on My Name Is Earl
the fact that my husband is loving (and excelling at) his job in Iraq so far

(original list here)

Posted by Sarah at 02:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I posted yesterday at 4:15; the nurse finally ended up calling me at, no joke, 4:29.
The news is bad.
Bad enough that I have to go to the emergency clinic on Sunday to get tested again.
Bad enough that she told me to expect bleeding at any time.
We could use a miracle right about now.

Posted by Sarah at 09:35 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

May 16, 2008


No one answered my calls today or called me back.
I don't know my test results.
And now it's the weekend.
I am livid.

Posted by Sarah at 04:15 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


Time is moving like molasses this morning.

I have to wait until noon again to get my bloodwork done. I hear the clock ticking in the silent house and I can't concentrate on anything else.

Will the numbers be high enough? Will they not? I thought I could handle another dead baby, since I've done it once before, but until yesterday I didn't realize just how devastating that would feel again.

I don't feel pregnant this morning. I feel like my body has already given up.

Last night I went out and bought baby clothes, just to try to feel normal.

I am going to the hospital and then I'm not coming home. My dear friend has invited Charlie and me to spend the night at her family's house. A sleepover of sorts. It seems so silly, but she insisted that I not be alone.

She loves Hot Fuzz; me too. Maybe we can watch.

Please don't let the baby be dead.

Posted by Sarah at 11:29 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 15, 2008


There is one thing I hate about action movies: the wives. The wives are always whiny, self-centered nags. Every action movie wife is Adrian Balboa, telling Rocky not to fight. I get so sick of it. How many times can we hear some snotty witch tell her husband that she's "sick of him putting the job ahead of his family"? And every action hero takes it, lets his wife treat him like dirt while he keeps on killing the bad guys. I can't stand it any longer.

You know, I'm glad my husband has a job that he puts ahead of his family. Because my happiness is not the most important freaking thing on this planet. He doesn't live to make my life perfect; he tries to do a job that's bigger than him, bigger than us. And I am proud of that, I respect that. And I would never dream of emasculating him by saying I can't understand "what he's become," that I can't believe he forgot Timmy's basketball game, that I can't believe that he somehow thinks ridding the streets of evil is better than being home at a decent hour every night.

Seriously, this is what movie wives do. They destroy their husbands because they want their husbands to put them first, above everything else.

That's bullcrap.

I will never forget the post that Joan wrote at SpouseBUZZ about TV husbands promising to make it up to their wives. My husband doesn't have to make anything up to me; it's reward enough to see him do a job he loves well and to make an impact on this world. And yeah, that may mean he misses Timmy's freaking basketball game from time to time. Get over it.

You know, I was stressed out today. I cried a lot and I wished someone was here in the house to hold my hand and tell me that everything was going to be OK. But not once during the entire day did I feel upset that my husband was in Iraq instead of here. Not once. His job is more important than my crying stints. We signed up for selfless service, and by golly I take that seriously. I would never dream of making him feel bad for not being home on a day I needed him.

But apparently TV wives sing a different tune.

I hate TV wives. Except Zoe Washburne, she was cool.

Posted by Sarah at 11:14 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


Oh my goodness, I just had a hilarious thought: my baby is Schroedinger's cat.
Wow, that really cheered me up.

(OK, so not really. Observation won't actually cause the baby to be alive or dead, but for now it really does seem like it's both.)

Posted by Sarah at 04:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Yesterday I was supposed to go in and get more labwork done to make sure that the pregnancy is progressing. I was supposed to show up at lunchtime to do it. When I got there, I found that the nurse had forgotten to order the bloodwork. Naturally, it was lunchtime, so no one was around. I sat for half an hour until they got back from lunch to put the request in the computer system. I ended up getting the test done at about 1:15. When I called for the results, they told me that because I had gotten it done after 1:00, the results wouldn't be ready until tomorrow. Yeah, totally their fault.

I have been calling for the past two and a half hours this morning, and no one is answering the phone.

You know, I said I'm optimistic about the pregnancy, but I've realized what a panic I'm in that I can't get these results. It's like this time I need proof that the baby is not dead, since I carried a dead one around for seven weeks last time.

Someone answer the &%$# phone.


She finally returned my voicemail, two hours after I left it. My results don't look that great. Not dire, but not perfect. I won't know anything more until they can do an ultrasound in two weeks.

Two weeks of agonizing. How nice.


Sorry for the confusion. It's not that they can't get me in for two weeks; it's that ultrasounds are useless until the baby's at least seven weeks along. There's nothing they can know for sure until the heart starts beating. So we have to wait until then, which is two weeks from now.


I worked up the nerve to call back and mentioned that my husband is deployed and I'm sitting alone in the house working myself into a tizzy over this. The nurse reluctantly agreed to let me get my levels tested again tomorrow, but she said flat out that it was pretty pointless. Ewww. And this is a fertility clinic nurse, someone who should know better. All her patients are fragile and freaked out, and she acted all exasperated that I am nervous because she made me feel uneasy about my results. But how are you supposed to feel when someone reads you your numbers and then says, "Oh. Hmm. Have you had a miscarriage before? Oh." and gives you one-word answers to the questions that you're managing to choke out through tears? I mean, for goodness' sake. Nice bedside manner, lady.

Posted by Sarah at 10:55 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

May 14, 2008


When I was in high school, my brother and I wanted to see From Dusk Until Dawn. We finally rented it, and he was going to watch it with his friends and then bring it home for me to watch. As he was leaving his friends' house, he dropped the VHS tape and accidentally stepped on it, cracking the tape, making me unable to watch it.

I am reminded of that frustration today.

If you remember my saying so, I love crappy action movies. Our Blockbuster queue is filled with them now that my husband is gone. So I watched First Blood the other night (the first Rambo movie, to rubes like me who didn't know it wasn't actually called Rambo.) That movie is freaking weird. Why are some Oregon cops harrassing a guy who just wanted to eat in the local diner, to the point where they're all getting killed over it? Whatever, Stallone is hot.

So I returned the movie and was all set to watch First Blood II tonight.

Now imagine me saying "Weak. Lame." in my best Cartman voice: They mailed me another copy of the first movie.

I wanted Cambodia, not Oregon again.

Weak. Lame.

Posted by Sarah at 07:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I just got my first letter in the mail from my husband, sent from Kuwait. In it he compares something he heard in the SF community to a part of Jonah Goldberg's book. Gosh, I love that man.


Speaking of Jonah Goldberg, he compares Obama and Reagan in a recent interview:

First of all, Ronald Reagan which at times does sound superficially like Barack Obama's: Reagan talked about a shining city on a hill, and all that kind of stuff and he had this wonderful rhetoric about patriotism and unity and all these kinds of things. And I'm sure you could find all sorts of other comparisons between Reagan's rhetoric and Obama's. But at the end of the day, Reagan was romanticizing not government but the glories and wonders of the American people and what they can do with God's gift of freedom. Which is an enormous distinction.

Reagan still believed that government wasn't the solution, it was the problem. And Obama's approach is the exact opposite of that. Reagan comes from the National Review tradition of believing that a virtuous, a truly virtuous society can only be the end-product of a free society. For virtue not freely chosen is not virtue as Frank Meyer might say. And Obama's whole shtick is that we must be unified and hopeful for what the government itself can do for us. Michelle Obama says Barack Obama is going to cure and heal our sickened souls. From my perspective, we have a Second Amendment precisely to keep governments who think they are in the soul-fixing business at bay.

I don't want the government to try and fix my soul. When Barack Obama has his door-knocking volunteers go around, they're instructed not to talk about issues but to talk about how they came to Obama in the same way that people talk about coming to Jesus. That scares me. And that's not Reaganesque. Reagan's whole approach-I think Obama's gift for oratory and for seeming like a decent and compelling personality that you'd want to know and you enjoy listening to, that kind of stuff is Reaganesque. His ability to read a script is Reaganesque and I think those comparisons are perfectly legitimate just as I think comparisons between Mike Huckabee and Reagan on that score-his ability to connect with people are fair. But in terms of philosophy, the last thing in the world that Reagan represented was the idea that we should sort of turn politics into this quasi-religious enterprise where a great leader using government can redeem the society and deliver us to some sort of utopian place where we all sort of have to work together, that's not Reaganesque. That's the opposite of Reaganism.

That's good squishy.

Posted by Sarah at 02:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 13, 2008


It's amazing how different everything looks in hindsight.

We tried for nine months to get pregnant, lost that baby, and tried six more months to get pregnant a second time.

That doesn't even sound like infertility, just substandard fertility. But it only feels like that in hindsight; it was agony to live through.

I read a few weeks ago a blog post at A Little Pregnant that hurt my heart. Readers were upset that Julie still dares to act like an infertility blog when she is pregnant with her second child. Nevermind that the first was the result of IVF and barely lived, and the second has been conceived with donor eggs. Clearly she doesn't understand how fragile some of her readers are and how it hurts them to be confronted by a pregnant infertile.

I only recently found the A Little Pregnant blog, and I do remember a twinge of irony: Geez, even the infertility bloggers are pregnant. But no matter how bummed I felt about my situation, I can't even compare myself to couples with Real Problems. Donor eggs? Ouch. How could anyone begrudge Julie her happiness? How could they think she hasn't suffered enough?

Shoot, looking back, I think I didn't even suffer enough. I feel almost embarrassed that I never made it into the fertility treatments, as if I broke the rules or something. I don't even rate when it comes to fertility woe.

But that's not how it felt while it was my reality.

I understand where these broken women are coming from. I have felt more anger and bitterness in the past year and a half than I thought I was capable of. I had to deal with a lot of ugliness in my personality.

But it's amazing how all of that washes away when you find happiness.

Washes away, but doesn't completely disappear. I will never forget what it felt like to dispair, to not get pregnant, to sob at night in bed because you just want to be like everyone else. And I will always empathize with people who are going through it.

As does Julie.

Posted by Sarah at 10:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


My husband's buddy also mentioned that he was a little worried about me, that too much solitude was going to make me batty. He joked that I'd better not turn into Emily Dickinson.

And while there is no frigate like a book, I too worry about having so much alone time.

But if my solitude could get me anywhere near writing something like this, it would be worth it.

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Posted by Sarah at 04:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I've come across a complaint that SpouseBUZZ is too cheerful of a place. Man, I think it's sad that anyone would dislike the site for that reason. I just think we try hard to see the glass as half full.

Being of that mindset, I loved the post over at Fifteen Months called My Top 8 Tips For Surviving Deployment. My favorite is #5:

5. Everytime you feel like you want something from him to fulfill something missing inside of you, think instead of what you can do for him and the voids he must have being so far away from the colorful landscape of America. If you feel unloved or ignored or sad, do something that you think will make him feel loved, wanted, less alone. Instead of focusing on what things are like for you, try to think about walking in his boots a little bit every day.

All eight of them are such good advice for keeping deployment in perspective.

Posted by Sarah at 03:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Last night my husband's friend commented appreciatively on my KitchenAid mixer. I told him it was my Surviving Deployment Present to myself. I remember how I had to force myself to get it because I thought it was so frivolous. A present, just for not falling to pieces in one year.

And then I learned that other wives had gotten enormous honkin' diamonds and Saabs.

Until today, I had never heard of a "push present," which apparently is a new trend. Husbands are supposed to waste money on wives when they deliver a baby, in addition to the money they waste on ridiculous old Valentine's Day. And I have a feeling that it probably goes down a lot like other people's Surviving Deployment presents did; nothing like blowing a huge wad of cash right when you need it most in life. I would think it was sweet if my husband got something for the baby or a little thing for me. But I sure ain't countin' on it. And I know for a fact that he would not buy expensive jewelery and I wouldn't want him to.

I don't think it's weird to get your spouse a gift; in fact, I've already got something in mind for my husband. But it's not a requirement, for heaven's sake.

My "push present" will probably be an increase in my life insurance policy.

Posted by Sarah at 07:19 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 12, 2008


So my husband's single friend came over for dinner tonight, and he asked how I was doing, both with the deployment and with the baby situation. And during the course of chatting, I mentioned the miscarriage, and I also asked him if I could put him down on my list of people to call should I have to endure a casualty notification.

He started to panic and said that we'd better change the subject. I couldn't figure out why, until he said, "I'm afraid you're going to start crying and I don't really know how to handle that."

I laughed and said I hope he doesn't think I'm that fragile. I told him that I haven't cried even once since my husband left and that I'm really feeling quite good and normal.

I'm not sure he believed me.

Really, I'm fine. I'm like creepy fine. I keep waiting for the shoe to drop, but I don't feel sad at all. I'm sure at some point I will get a little weepy, especially if hormones start kicking in, but I don't feel bad at all right now.

But apparently it took me two weeks to cry last time, so I guess I have another seven days.

But also like last time, I just don't suffer.

Posted by Sarah at 09:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


It's funny the things that strike you about a person.
And it's nice when they don't label you as teh crazy.

Yeah, my button love. I started collecting them when my mother gave me a jar of buttons that were my great grandmother's. Now I have thousands, all over the house. I have buttons filling lamps and buttons in vases and in jars tucked all over the place.

My relatives even threw me a button bridal shower and collected buttons from anyone who had them. That's how I was able to make this:


The funniest button story I have was when I expressed my love for buttons while living in Sweden. My friend's mother took me to her work so I could sift through all the buttons I wanted. Sadly, she worked at a sort of daycare for mentally handicapped adults. I don't know what that says about me, that I want to play with the same things they do.

So when Sis B and I turned the corner in the yarn shop, I walked open-mouthed to the button rack. And these are high-end buttons, which you buy individually, not the card kind you get at any old store. I ooohed and aaahed, and she was a good sport and pointed nice ones out with me.

The button love is intense in our house.

Posted by Sarah at 05:37 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Oh my gosh, I miss my husband so much right this moment that I can't stand it.

I found a blog post that I'm dying to discuss with him. Yeah, we don't get enough telephone time to discuss blog posts.

“I hope the officers of her Majesty’s army may never degenerate into bookworms.”

Husband, if you're checking the blog, you simply must read that post and also the comment by SmittenEagle it references. And then write me a letter about what you think!

Actually, I already know what you think.

When my husband started Civil Affairs training, he was given a stack of books to read. He was dismayed to learn that, months later, some of his classmates hadn't read any of them. And we're talking Bernard Lewis level books, not Lawrence of Arabia (which my husband read on his own two years ago). He was so frustrated that people could be in a class about the Middle East and have so little motivation to learn anything about the Middle East.

He, on the other hand, is a studier. He has a reputation in his unit for being a bookworm, a brain. And while my husband is a danged genius, really all he's doing is reading books on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. That should be a given for anyone in his branch of the Army. Instead, when he went to the branch library to check out a book on modern Iraq, he was the first person to ever have checked it out.

There's no danger of bookworms among his peers. Sadly.

Posted by Sarah at 04:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


After our fateful trip to the emergency room in December, I had to go see the doctor the next day to schedule my D&C. I pulled into an extremely packed parking lot, save for an empty row of Expectant Mother spots right by the front. I broke down sobbing in my regular person parking space, far from the front door. It was another reminder that I had lost my chance to use those spaces.

So today as I drove up to the hospital to get my bloodwork done, I got a grin on my face thinking that I could park in one of those spaces! And wouldn't you know, they were all full.

But next time, next time I will be able to.

Posted by Sarah at 03:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


My husband's two friends from Farsi class share an apartment (because we've all seen the state of the barracks around here). They come over often for dinner, but we had never been to their place. My husband goes over there one day and comes home and, on a stack of Bibles, says, "Man, their house is clean! And so tidy! Not like ours." Heh. That gem of a compliment was made to me on Valentine's Day, no less.

So the first time I go to their apartment for shooting day, I nearly have a heart attack. Three single junior enlisted soldiers live there, and I swear to you I would've eaten off the floor. It was immaculate.

And all of a sudden I felt mighty ashamed of all the times they'd been in my grubby house.

Two of the roommates deployed last weekend, so my husband's buddy is all alone, just like I am. My husband told him that we should hang out while they're away, and he promised his friend that he didn't have to fear him Marsellus-Wallace-style. And that I wouldn't snort heroin up my nose and have to be jabbed in the heart with a syringe.

So his buddy is coming over for dinner tonight while the gettin's still good, while I can still cook before morning sickness sets in. I'm making him my favorite: saltimbocca alla Romana. Then I thought we could watch the "Fun With Veal" South Park.

Thus I've spent the entire morning on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. And cleaning windowsills. And vacuuming. And doing everything I can to hide the fact that a full-time soldier keeps his place cleaner than a full-time wife does.

Seriously, they make me look like a slob.

Back to work.

Posted by Sarah at 09:37 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


I took a pregnancy test before my husband left, and it was negative. We smiled wryly, as we have learned to do, and decided that it really was for the best. We had already paid all the money to do the fertility treatments, and any baby conceived at this point would be due right at the same time as my husband's return from Iraq. Next month was better, next month would let him come home in time to see baby born.

Plus, how do you call the fertility clinic and tell them, "Nevermind, we did it on our own"? Embarrassing. We laughed and said that we were totally OK with not being pregnant this month, the first time we've thought that since we started this whole process.

You know where I'm going with this, right?

In order to start fertility treatments, you have to start a new cycle. So I kept waiting and waiting. Everyone kept saying that I might be pregnant, but I said that I had already taken a negative test. And I didn't feel pregnant, not like I did last October. And a long-ish cycle is normal for me, so I just kept waiting.

Last month, I was so certain that I was pregnant that I took three tests because I didn't believe the negative results. This weekend, I took two tests because I didn't believe the positive results of the first one. I even took one of those ones that spells it all out.

But we have proof.

I think it's a darn shame that my husband wasn't home a few more days to see the positive test, but I hope to goodness he's home in time for the birth. And naturally this happened on the day after he told me he'd be out of the loop for a while (i.e. traveling from Kuwait to his final destination). I couldn't tell anyone else before I told him, but the only way I could manage to keep my mouth shut was to ignore phone calls from anyone I'd be tempted to blab to. An eternity passed between taking that test and my husband's phone call.

So now I have to go call the fertility clinic and sheepishly tell them that I won't be needing their services. Yet. Hang on to the...ahem...stuff my husband left behind, just in case. We still have the emotional scars from last time to be too optimistic just yet.

But I'm surprisingly cheery about the whole thing. Right after the miscarriage, I thought I'd be a nervous wreck if I got pregnant again. But enough time has passed that I am only filled with joy and hope.

And of course this baby is going to stick; it's the least convenient time we could've managed. And we paid money for tests and cryogenics that we didn't end up needing. Bad timing and wasted money, that's a sure sign it will work out, right?

Here's to everything I loathe: an unexpected, poorly-timed, and "surprise" pregnancy!

Posted by Sarah at 01:18 AM | Comments (40) | TrackBack

May 11, 2008


I read the book Gates of Fire because Neil from Armor Geddon said that I reminded him of a Spartan woman. What a compliment! I loved the book when I read it during the last deployment. My husband picked up the book about a year after he returned from Iraq, and he was almost mad at me: "Why didn't you suggest I read this book sooner?" Heh.

I'm reading it again now, and I noticed that my husband marked some passages when he read it. I love to see what he marked, like a window into his mind, illuminating what's important to him.

Like this passage:

War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods.

And this passage, which I know must have struck a chord with my husband. If I were to say that anything haunted my husband from his first deployment, it would be that he wishes he had done more:

The secret shame of the warrior, the knowledge within his own heart that he could have done better, done more, done it more swiftly or with less self-preserving hesitation; this censure, always most pitiless when directed against oneself, gnawed unspoken and unrelieved at the men's guts. No decoration or prize of valor, not victory itself, could quell it entire.

I like these marked passages; it's as if my husband is here beside me, reading aloud the things he finds interesting. It's nice to hear his voice in the house.

Posted by Sarah at 01:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


If you have a quiet moment today, please reflect for a second on our dear internet friend Debey. Think of her and all the other mothers who have lost their children in Iraq and Afghanistan, and maybe take a minute to go tell her that you're thinking of her today, that we are grateful that there are mothers out there who raised sons like Gunnar.

Posted by Sarah at 06:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 10, 2008


Rose Michelle wrote a post called If It Weren't For War...

I dare say, I would probably be living the same boring day over and over. Waking each day, dreading what was to come from a mundane job, same relentless chores, and never ending errands. I'd probably live next to the same people for 20 years and never know their name, drive the same route every day never seeing the beauty around me.

If it weren't for war, I'm never have married an American hero, be inspired by those around me or treasure the littlest moments such as making dinner with my husband or dancing on the porch in the moonlight. Maybe they're right, it sounds like such a horrible life!

If it weren't for war...

It reminds me of when I wrote this:

Today I started thinking that if 9/11 hadn't happened, my life would be quite different. My husband was slated to join the Army for four years of Finance. My guess is that he would've completed his commitment and taken his business mind elsewhere for more money. Certainly he wouldn't have stayed in and chosen to learn Farsi. We'd probably be somewhere in the Midwest, working and living like most of our peers.

If it weren't for war, I wouldn't know how precious my husband is. I wouldn't relish every day with him. I wouldn't be as proud of him as I was every time he got a perfect score on a Farsi quiz. I wouldn't cherish every moment with him, knowing there will be months and years of our lives apart. I wouldn't have such good Perspective, knowing that dirty laundry on the floor or dribbles of pee on the toilet rim means that at least he's home and safe.

I wouldn't have read so many books about the Middle East. I wouldn't know Iraqi geography. I wouldn't crochet squares for Hand-Crafted Comfort. I wouldn't write so many letters.

My life would be less immediate, less fulfilling, less lived.

Posted by Sarah at 08:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Deployment Silver Linings

Posted by Sarah at 06:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


We got our Pelosi Money yesterday, but there's nothing we need to buy to help stimulate the economy. We had intended to spend it on sod for the backyard since we're having a really hard time making grass grow on sand, but the sod laying company can't get into our backyard unless we tear down part of our fence. That seems like a bad trade-off to me, so we're not going that route right now. Other than that, I can't think of anything to spend it on. Thanks for funding our IRA, Congress. You meatheads.

Posted by Sarah at 10:31 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008


This afternoon I went and met up with Sis B. She has the cutest freckled nose and the most perfectly shaped head I've ever seen. (That sounds weird, I know, but it's meant as a compliment. She's lovely.)

We had a wonderful afternoon of talking our heads off. And my favorite part was when we mentioned my car, and she immediately asked me how many miles to the gallon it gets. We compared notes on our cars' gas consumption. In this nutty Army world we live in, surrounded by SUVs and F-150s, it felt so nice for someone to notice and speak appreciatively of our little, efficient cars.

I can't wait to see her again the next time I'm in "Tayhoss." I hope she introduces me to her armadillo friends.

Posted by Sarah at 06:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Dragonfly found an interesting opinion piece called Anti-War Wounds. I don't relate to every opinion in the article, but it's well-written and makes a good point about "being the 'we.'" And about how it feels when people don't get that.

My husband fights this war. He risks his life every day. We have both made sacrifices for it. And to hear them say that it’s “a waste of time,” that it “will never make a difference,” that “we should call the whole thing off” — well, if that’s true, I’m not sure I’ll get out of bed tomorrow morning. There has to be a reason that our family — and thousands of others — are enduring this.

Yesterday someone called to say goodbye to my husband before he left, not knowing that he'd been bumped forward. And in the conversation, this person asked if my husband thinks that being in Iraq is worth it, if his job means anything, and if he thinks we should've gone there in the first place. How do you answer that question 1) politely and 2) succinctly? And then what do you do when that person says, "Well, I don't think it was the right idea in the first place"?

All I could answer was that my husband reads countless books, articles, and blogs about the Middle East. He's no robot blindly following Bush's orders. And he will do the best job he can with the brain he's been given so that he does make a difference down there.

You know, I've heard the saying that the soldier is the most anti-war person because he actually sees what war is, but I don't think I ever want label myself as anti-war. To me, that's like being anti-pollution or anti-cancer; it's a meaningless term. (I've written about this before.) There is war in this world we live in, like it or not, and sometimes you have to fight it. And if that time comes to my family, then that makes me pro-war. Do I think this time in Iraq has been perfect or easy? No way. But I don't have a crystal ball that can tell me what the world would've looked like if we hadn't gone to Iraq five years ago. It's possible the world might've been worse off. So you fight the war you're in with all you've got and don't waste time thinking about what might have been in some alternate dimension.

So please don't ask our military families to discuss that alternate dimension. It's pointless and off-putting.

Posted by Sarah at 08:02 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


When we started trying to have a baby a year and a half ago, my husband was dismayed that he hadn't reached two goals yet: he wanted to have X amount of net worth, and he wanted to be finished with his MBA. But that was our safe year, so we had to take advantage of his non-deployable status.

Well, last month we hit that X amount of money, and now I'm happy to announce that my husband passed his last two classes right before he deployed and finished his MBA program.

So anyway...Hey, baby, any time you feel like finally joining our family, feel free. Everything's squared away for your arrival. We've got fun knitted animals for you to play with, you've got a dresser full of clothes that the SpouseBUZZers bought for you, and now your screaming won't bother your father while he's trying to do homework.

Anytime now...

Posted by Sarah at 07:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 08, 2008


I just heard from my husband; he made it to Kuwait. Naturally, they got bumped from heading into Iraq and will be staying there and wasting a few days, which makes you wonder why they had to leave the US in such a rush if they're just gonna sit around, but that's the Army. He sounds good. He said Kuwait looks a whole lot different than it did back in 2004.

I told him I keep forgetting that he's gone, and every time I read a good blog post or article, I forget that I can't show it to him when he gets home.

I'm anxious for a mailing address.

Posted by Sarah at 12:00 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

May 07, 2008


My plans for this week were perfect until my husband's deployment kept getting moved forward. Once that happened, I had to make a very unusual and difficult choice: Do you accept an invitation to the White House on the day your husband is supposed to deploy? Any other invitation in the world, you obviously turn down. But the White House? That's big. That gives you pause.

I asked around, and the general consensus was that other wives would not go to the White House. But I still had to decide for myself. I had a talk with my husband about my choice, and what he said blew my mind. He said, "The White House is the White House, and obviously that's a big deal. But what I think is really important is that you go spend time with your friends, people who love you. You don't have anyone here in town to take care of you while I'm gone, and when else are you going to get the chance to be with your good friends? If they're coming in from all over the country, then you need to go be with people who care about you."

And he was right.

It was so exciting to be able to take this photo on Tuesday:


But it honestly means so much more to me to have taken this one:


I spent the day surrounded by people who lift my spirits, who make me happy, and who grok what I am going through. They cracked me up and helped me forget my sorrow. And they reminded me of how lucky I am to have them in my life.

My husband was right: I really did need this.

I raced home right after the event and had six hours to spend with my husband before I dropped him off at his unit headquarters to deploy. And we felt good, no tears at all. Just a supplication for me to have "Spartan courage" and for him to "come back with his shield or on it." A quick kiss goodbye, and that was that.

And so the deployment begins.

Posted by Sarah at 04:12 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
  And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say
  The breath goes now, and some say, No:

So let us melt, and make no noise,
  No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,
'Twere profanation of our joys
  To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears,
  Men reckon what it did and meant,
But trepidation of the spheres,
  Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
  (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
  Those things which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined
  That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assur'd of the mind,
  Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
  Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
  Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
  As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
  To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
  Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans and hearkens after it,
  And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must
  Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
  And makes me end where I begun.

   -- John Donne

Posted by Sarah at 02:17 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 04, 2008


The last time my husband deployed, I spent the day before he left sewing new rank on since he got promoted that day. I wish I could tell you what I spent yesterday doing, but it's majorly opsec. It's such a good story and really freaking weird, but alas. Curse my husband's new security clearance!

I wrote about his packing headaches at SpouseBUZZ.

And we've been getting ourselves properly pumped up on dorkosterone before he leaves. I started reading Gates of Fire again. Tonight we're watching his favorite movie: Miracle. And last night we went with his Farsi class buddies to Hooters so he could get his fill of beer and ogling chicks before he leaves.

I feel pretty good this time. I don't feel scared: his job will be low-key. I don't feel bad about the length: we did longer pre-R&R last time than his entire deployment will be this time. And I feel optimistic about our chances with the fertility treatments too.

I just feel a smidge sad that my best friend is leaving me for the rest of 2008.
At least I have Charlie this time.

Posted by Sarah at 01:30 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 03, 2008


OK, this stopped being funny. My husband's deployment got moved forward again.

Posted by Sarah at 11:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack



Mothers-to-be who skip breakfast and eat less are more likely to give birth to girls, while moms who consume more calories and a wider range of nutrients — including, specifically, those from breakfast cereal — are more likely to deliver sons.

Wait wait wait. If we want a boy, I have to eat more? Done and done. And I eat breakfast cereal every single day. Sweet, we're golden.

Yeah, um, Tessa brings up the logical question here: Don't males carry the deciding chromosomes? Still, it's an interesting correlation. And if I were any good at conceiving at all, I would give it a try, but we're just gonna have to take what we can get.

Now excuse me while I go eat my breakfast cereal.

Posted by Sarah at 07:42 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 02, 2008


Why Generation Y is broke

Let me guess...they're retarded?

The 28-year-old New York resident has a master's degree from a prestigious university, a successful career in photography, stamps in her passport from around the globe and, until recently, personal finances that were out of control.
"[Her accountant] wrote me a letter that said, 'You've got to get your life together! Most of these bills aren't even open.' It was a really humbling thing," Wallace says. "But the next time, all my receipts were on a spreadsheet. No one had ever taught me to make a budget or balance a checkbook."

You're kidding me with this, right? No one ever taught me this either. Actually, that's not true: I think I remember having to balance a fake checkbook sometime around middle school for a math class assignment.

But for real, you have a Masters degree and it never occurred to you that you should keep track of your money? Like maybe use Excel or something, the easiest thing in the world. It does the math for you! I'm sure you're also, like, a total math-ophobe. Like numbers and stuff, ick. Who can do that?

"We're in a generation that was kind of shielded from a lot of financial responsibilities," says Wong. "Twenty years ago, when you were in college you didn't have a credit card, and (now) all of a sudden we had to take on debt to go to college. Then we get out of college and we have to have that handbag and an iPod," she says. "It is so easy to take on debt."

OMG, you did not just say that.

Many of these attitudes are evident in our relationships with our parents. Not for nothing have we been labeled the "boomerang generation": We may not all be living in our parents' wood-paneled basements, but a recent Pew survey found that 68% of baby boomers with kids are supporting an adult child financially.

Yep, I know several of them. And on the other end of the spectrum, you have people like me and my husband who, three years after we got married, sent our parents money for all the things we owed them for over the years. The laptop that I swore to my dad I would help pay for when I was in college, yep, never did. So I paid him back three years after I had passed the laptop on to my brother. Because he's my father and not some money tree. Once I realized the true value of money, I realized how much I'd asked of my parents over the years. And I paid them back.

Because I'm a grown-up, and grown-ups don't whine if they can't afford an iPod and they don't take advantage of other grown-ups, even if they happen to be mommy and daddy.

Why do we seem to get article after article these days about why 20 and 30 year olds can't seem to get their shit together? Quit making excuses for them like they weren't taught this in school or it's predatory lenders' fault. No one made her buy the handbag. When I was in college, I had a credit card with a $10,000 limit. I never put a dime on it. It was for emergencies only, and I knew the freaking definition of an emergency. It sure isn't Needing An iPod.

And no one had to teach me that! My parents didn't have to sit down and tell me what I could or could not put on a credit card. It's common freaking sense to not spend money you don't have.


Posted by Sarah at 07:44 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 01, 2008


The funniest thing happened today. My mother-in-law sent us a package. My husband was on the phone with her while I opened it up, and I looked in the plastic bag that was on top. I said, "'s a dead bird." My husband said, "What? She says it's something knitted."

It seems the Hitler cat killed a bird, and they put it in a bag and out in the garage to dispose of. And somehow that bag got grabbed when she went to put bags in the package for padding. It was the funniest thing ever. I can now say my mother-in-law mailed me a dead animal. I think that is a riot. My new favorite story.

The unfunniest thing also happened today. My husband's deployment got moved forward. He leaves soon now.

Posted by Sarah at 08:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


A thought from Rachel Lucas:

I’m pretty sure the multitude of African tribes who sold other Africans into slavery haven’t apologized, either. They’re still doing it, actually, but you never hear about that. All guys like Wright care about is what didn’t happen to them at the hands of people who are no longer alive. You know, sometimes I wonder what hut-dwelling, persecuted, starving, or enslaved Africans - who are alive and dying right this second - would think about American blacks like Wright and Cone, if they could know about them. Which they can’t because they live in abject poverty and terror and don’t have a lot of spare time to surf the internet, seeing as how they’re so busy running from machete slaughters and waiting for their cup of rice each day, that is if it isn’t hijacked by other Africans with guns.

I wonder how “supported” they would feel in their “blackness” to know that wealthy, intelligent, resourceful black Americans spend so much time and effort pounding away on shit that happened here hundreds of years ago instead of directing all that rage at injustice towards Africa itself. You know, maybe actually helping black people who need it about a million times more than your average Detroit gangbanger. Just a thought I have sometimes.

Posted by Sarah at 08:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack