Sunday Afternoon!

I’m feeling a little guilty for sitting down at the computer instead of doing biology or cleaning my house (cleaning the car had to get put on hold till I have time to make it to my parent’s house). I did end up going out to have a midnight meal with Crista last night at R. Thomas in Buckhead. The food was really good but it was way more expensive that I was expecting ($13 for a whole order of french toast, $1.19 to add cheese!, and $3.99 for bacon). I had a half order of french toast and an egg (no cheese, because I know cheese does not cost $1.19).  I ended up feeling horrible afterwards, but I had been feeling a little sick before from my chicken pot pie leftovers from Alison’s Place. Anyway, the point of that was that I ended up going to bed around 2:30 and did not manage to drag myself out of bed at 8am like I was planning, so my day hasn’t been as productive as I was hoping.

I spent all morning making crockpot chicken and broccoli and I was going to make these nice sweet potato things I found on pinterest (this would have made a good reality vs pinterest post, but I didn’t photo document it), but instead made some nice sweet potato hash. And of course made bacon for breakfast, which was sadly undercooked for my liking. Not even sure how that happened cause I’m a master bacon chef.

Today I ran 2.02 miles in 17:55. Not too bad. I can’t wait till my cold is done with so I can stop snotting my entire run. I haven’t had any knee pains during my shorter runs at all, so on my next full day off (next Saturday), I think I’m going to try and go for another 5-6 miler and see how I feel. Then I went to the gym to do some legs. I did 20 back squats at 95# and my poor legs were shaking. 95# used to be nothing! Then I did a few leg machines and then did 3 sets of 10 walking lunges with a 50# barbell on my back. I seriously thought I was going to die. That’s pathetic for me. This older guy told me he was impressed at that I have a strong body and I should keep it up. It’s hard to gracefully accept compliments on lifting at the gym now because I feel so weak compared to this time last year. I used to do WODs with 80#s overhead, so to just be shaky when I’m doing lunges with 50# on my back is sad. I know I’m small and for some reason, it impresses people to see me lift anything (it’s not that cool, guys), but I’m just not where I like my body to be. I was looking at pictures of the Grand Canyon last night (I went in July of 2012) and I was just a solid little thing. It’s tough to work full time, go to school, do homework, try and improve on running, and still have time to lift though… Lifting gets shafted first.

I’m so ready for Jon to get home! Unfortunately, I work tonight when he gets back in town, and since I work tonight and tomorrow till 3am, I don’t even think he’s going to spend the night over here. I think he’s actually going to go to his house for the first time in a really long time. I’ll see him on Wednesday night for sure, but five days without him feels like so long! It’s also nice to have my whole house to myself though. I’m definitely the type of person that needs me time. I appreciate time with just my friends and with just myself! And most of all, I appreciate complete silence in my house. I hate having a TV on in the background and I rarely listen to music when I’m at home (sometimes if I’m cooking or cleaning), and Jon is the type of person who always has the TV on. I feel like that makes me sound so old. I’m the girl at work who walks into the breakroom and is like, “That TV is SO loud, can we turn it down?! I just need some peace and quiet!!!”

Anyway, I’m just getting some laundry done now and plan on working on my lab homework for a little bit before taking a nap, showering, eating some dinner, and heading off for my 7p-3a shift! I’m counting down the days till next weekend cause I have all day Saturday off and don’t go in to work until 7p again on Sunday, so I think Jon and I will finally get a chance to go do something outside together! Keep your fingers crossed for a nice weekend!

Oh, and here’s a few pictures…

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These are two of the cruise pictures. I probably should have uploaded bigger ones, but too late! Sorry guys!


Dinner with Laura at Alison’s Place in Dunwoody on Friday night!


Tom was asleep next to me and I started messing with him. He let all of this happen and purred happily.


Life over the last 2 weeks!

It’s been two weeks since I’ve last posted! Life has been so busy! I drove down to Orlando for a surprise bachelorette cruise. The cruise is for Jessie, who is Jon’s best friend’s fiance, and also the girl half of the couple that Jon and I visited in Italy. I was a little hesitant about going because although I can definitely carry my own in a conversation, I’m not a typical “girl,” or so I’ve been told. So I think I have a harder time connecting with girls, but this has definitely improved as ?I’ve gotten older (and dropped the F word from my regular vocabulary and became a little bit more of a lady). Since it was a surprise for Jessie, I met up with all of her friends in the morning at Meagan’s house in Orlando. I realized that not everybody knew each other, although I was the only one who didn’t know anybody other than Jessie (10 of us went). It ended up being perfectly fine. All the girls were really awesome and I felt comfortable around all of them. Even better, not all of them were big drinkers! Since alcohol makes me feel sick at this ripe old age of 27, this was definitely a pleasant surprise.

It was my first cruise, which overall was fun, but not really my favorite experience for traveling. I didn’t find it that relaxing (waiting in line for food?! no thanks!) and I like more freedom and less tourists when I’m on the beach, but I’m so glad I went. I loved being able to be there for Jessie’s bachelorette party and meeting all those girls made me even more excited for the wedding. And experiencing my first cruise was interesting and also REALLY rocky. Luckily I never got sea sick, but a few of the girls did. I did however, get a nice nasty cold on the boat. It’s like being on an airplane, all dry and closed in. So I ended up pretty miserably sick by the time I got home.

After I got back (after a nice 8 hour drive), I went to dinner with Jon and we went grocery shopping. We got in a little argument because I’m a little less than pleasant when I’m stressed and sick, but thankfully the man handles me like a champ. I spent Monday and Tuesday studying nonstop, and then worked twelve hours on Wednesday and studied more on Wednesday night. Thursday I had to work 7-3, and I ended up not leaving till after 3:30 because nobody came to get report on my patients, so I crammed a little more before my test and went to class. I think all went pretty well, but glad that test is over.

Jon and I decided to hit up the last Braves game since I was out of class by 6:05 and had time to go down to Georgia State to pick him up. The weather was amazing! I can’t believe it was our last game of 2013 though! We won’t be doing any playoff games cause they’re expensive and Jon and I rarely have a schedule that allows us to both do something fun at the same time, but I guess we’ll just have to go to 2014 games when the time comes!

Yesterday I was off, but it was my first day off in forever. I went running (2.68 miles in 25:08) and then went to the gym. Unfortunately, I had a decent breakfast but then my errands took way longer than expected, so by the time I made it to the gym, I was just dead tired. I did a few weights and then went home and napped until it was time to meet Laura for dinner. I did manage to get an iPhone 5 yesterday, which I’m excited about. I’m not a techy type person, but I had an iPhone 4 running on 3g, so it was getting super slow and kept freezing up on me. I feel pretty fancy with this new phone though. The only downfall is that it’s a 5c cause they didn’t have any 5 models left, and the phone is a different shape than the 5 and 5s so the cases will be hard to find. I bought one at the store that I happen to like, so I guess I’ll just keep it for awhile!

Today I worked 7-3 and then fell asleep on the couch for a bit. I went for a walk at Riverside Park which is my favorite place to go running. I wasn’t feeling great or I would have gone for a run, but I just wanted to enjoy the weather. I had planned on going to left after, but the gym apparently closes at 8 on Saturdays and I pulled up at 7:45. Bummer. So I grocery shopped instead and now I’m in the middle of some lab homework. I’m about to go have a late night dinner with Crista at a diner in Buckhead and then maaaybe go to a Korean bath, but I’m feeling cheap after paying bills and don’t know if I want to do the bath tonight anyway.

Tomorrow will be another busy day of errands and then I have to work 7p-3a. This was totally not exciting and I was planning on adding pictures of the cruise and dinner last night, but I really just don’t feel like it. Sorry guys.

Six mile run & a good test grade!

Jon is out of town this weekend for drill, which has been nice and also kind of lonely! I’m used to having him around! But I also really like my alone time, so it’s been nice to be able to come home and watch what I want to watch on TV and I got ready for work this morning without having to be quiet.

Anyway, the point of this is really more about my run tonight! Since I’ve been back at work, my gym time and running time has been really limited. I haven’t been too upset about the running part of it, but I do wish I had more time to lift! I had noticed that my left knee was starting to really bother me, which now that I’ve been running, I remember that all these aches and pains is one of the reasons I really never got into running in the first place. No matter what shoes I wear, I always hurt. No matter if I POSE run or regular run, I get pains somewhere. I seem to have less knee pain if I don’t POSE run, but a lot more ankle pain. And I have way more knee pain POSE running, but no ankle pain. I wear minimus shoes since I’m really a firm believer in them and have been wearing them for probably three years now, so I don’t even know how it would be to POSE run in a regular shoe and I don’t want to heel strike.

Moving on… It was really nice out tonight, so I was actually really excited to get out there. I wanted to run and go to the gym afterwards, which is what I usually do. Since I haven’t been running lately, I figured I’d run 20 minutes out and 20 minutes back, possibly 25 out and 25 back (I still don’t do distances really, they really cause me to lack motivation, and it’s easier for me to go for a time at this point than a distance). I was a little pissed cause I went to turn my iPod on and realized I must have left it on when I left the gym the other day so I had to run sans iPod.

I started running and by the end of 20 minutes, I decided to do 25 since I was feeling okay. I was at a 10 minute/mile pace and my knee was bothering me, but not really too bad. At 25 minutes, I was almost at 2.5 miles, so I just decided to go for 2.5 miles out so I’d have a 5 mile run. But I saw a side street on my way out and was curious about it, so I went down that road. And I was really feeling good so went way past (like .3 miles, haha) where I was going to turn around. Once I turned around, MapMyRunGirl told me that I had hit 3 miles in 30:11 (I think, she’s hard to hear cause I keep her in my spandex shorts- I need a better system), so I knew I was in for a 6 mile run, which I’ve never done. I also wanted under 60 minutes, so I picked up the pace for miles 4 and 5 and was feeling good. I hit mile 6 and really just wanted to die. The end couldn’t come fast enough! I actually got back to my car at about 5.8 miles (I guess turning down that side road somehow got the mileage off for straight and back) so I finished up till I hit 6 miles.

My splits were:

Mile 1: 9:51
Mile 2: 10:40
Mile 3: 10:06
Mile 4: 8:45 (told you I was feeling good for mile 3)
Mile 5: 8:53 (and mile 4…)
Mile 6: 9:07
Total time: 56:02

And since I started running, these are my total runs:

8-15-13, 4.45 miles in 40:18
8-17-13, 2.83 miles in 28:43
8-26-13, 4.94 miles in 50:14
9-1-13, I ran for 28:44, probably just under 3 miles, but my GPS signal must have gone out cause I know I didn’t run 4.92 miles like MapMyRunGirl said

And that’s my other issue… MapMyRun seems somewhat inaccurate. Mostly just that run on 9-1, but I just questions her sometimes (the girl who talks to me on it). Tonight actually felt like that was true to what she was saying. I increased my pace a lot on miles 4 and 5, so I believe that… But yeah. And then I totally skipped the gym after my run because I needed to come home and study and ran longer than I wanted… only by 10 minutes really, but I’ll lift tomorrow.

For a girl who has always hated running with a passion and never ran more than 3 miles before, I’d say that making it 6 miles in 56 minutes after only doing four other road runs is pretty good. All the rest of it has been on the elliptical, which I haven’t even been doing lately and don’t do for more than about 30 minutes now cause of my knee pain.

Then I got home and decided to start studying, so I logged into my biology website online and saw that our test grades were posted! I got a 94.5%!!!! I seriously didn’t think I made better than a C, so you can imagine my complete shock at that! I literally ran to get my phone from my kitchen to call Jon, but he didn’t answer to share my excitement. Now I just have to pass the stupid lab, which I mess everything up in. I just don’t care about mating fruit flies and looking at leaves under microscopes and creating experiments.

Man, what an exciting Saturday I’ve had (that was sarcasm, despite my awesome run and test grade). I worked from 7a-3p though and then crashed on the couch for close to two hours after. Thankfully Jon called me on his way back to his hotel and woke me up, or I probably would have slept all evening. I love getting off at 3, but my tired time is 3-5pm every single day, so I always just want to take a nap when I get home! I also made spaghetti out of the Asian rice noodles after running and it turned out really well. I still felt like I was getting zero nutritional value which I really hate, especially when I eat at home, but since I’m going on a cruise next week and my time at home until then is so limited, I don’t have much to eat and don’t really care to go grocery shopping.

Okay, time to stop rambling! Have a good night, everybody!

The grass isn’t always greener at the other end of the tunnel

I’m trying to identify things that I need to work on within myself. Despite being pretty much perfect, I can think of a few things 🙂 One of them I was thinking about on my way home from a class that I had for work this morning. I really don’t live for today much. I don’t appreciate all the things I’m doing now because I see every day as a stepping stone towards something better. But really, what is better? I couldn’t wait till the end of nursing school because I imagined having a plethora of free time. Did that happen? No. Life is 100 times better out of nursing school and way less stressful, but instead of nursing school filling my life, work and biology fill my life. I made it to the gym once in the last week because I’m so busy with work and school (and preparing to go on a cruise next week).

It always seems to me like the grass is going to be greener at the other end of the tunnel (I know that’s not the saying, guys!). Like if I just move forward enough, I’ll be able to relax, take some deep breaths, and just enjoy life. Like somehow life is going to magically encompass hours of free time a day and I will be able to take weekend trips and go to Iceland and I’ll eat fantastic food and be happily in love.

I do work hard for things. I work hard so I can spend $5000 a year on a 21 day European vacation. And then I enjoy my vacation immensely and come back and start all over, working 55 hours a week so I can go on a trip next year and hopefully get some new floors in my house and pay for spring semester of college.

This came up today because I was thinking about how nice it was out and how I really wanted to go outside today, but I spent my morning in a class for work, I’m getting my hair cut shortly before the cruise, and then I’ll spend my night in class, making plantain pancakes before my batter that’s been sitting in the fridge goes bad, and doing homework (although I’m thinking about getting crazy and going for a run first). I was thinking about how I can’t wait until May, when I’m not in school.

But May isn’t the end of my education. I still want to go to grad school. I want to change the path of my career. I want to do travel nursing first, which means I’ll be away for months at a time, probably not relaxing. And hopefully by the time I finish traveling and going to grad school, I’ll be ready to pop some babies out cause all I really want to do is retire and travel, and I need my kids out of the house before that happens.

So is life really ever going to calm down? No, probably not. I really thought it would be awesome to be an adult and just go to work and come home. Like, when I was little, my mom had the easiest job in the world. She just worked and then sat at home with us. But now I wonder how the hell she kept a 3,000 square foot house clean with 3 kids and a husband and grocery shopped and worked? No wonder she quit making dinner once we all got into high school! I can barely keep my 1,100 square foot house clean after just Jon and myself and my messy cats. I have been kind of glad that Jon has been getting home later because then I don’t have to prepare a meal.

Life hasn’t slowed down at all. There are periods of time where I may have a little more extra free time, but then I fill that with the gym. Sometimes I get to see my friends more than others (right now is a time where it’s a struggle to see my friends because my schedule doesn’t allow it). I really can’t just go through each insanely busy day looking forward to the day that it calms down, because I don’t think life really calms down. And I thrive on being busy (high cortisol levels, anybody?! riiiight here!), so I probably create some of that myself. I thrive on overtime pay, because it pays for more of a vacation in less hours worked.

What I need to do is spend time appreciating each day, not letting my schedule stress me out, and really work to find a balance. When I feel so busy, I get stressed when things don’t go my way, and that’s really not cute on anybody. Quick example- Jon and I won’t be home for the same weekend until November (this is one possible weekend he may stay home, but I work that Saturday and then I work Sunday night). Sunday was our last real day to spend together because we’re both really busy in the evenings after work and class. So when he decided to play fantasy football for two hours, I about lost my shit (or did lose my shit… depends on who you ask!). Those things shouldn’t affect me so much, because I shouldn’t even be worrying about the next two months when I’m thinking about today. There’s a difference between having a plan for your future, and planning your entire life.

I still need to figure out just how I’m going to actually work on this, but I’ll let you all know what I decide 🙂

Thoughts of an ER nurse

I went back to work as a real nurse on Thursday after taking three months off of work because of my thumb injury. Despite working a total of 28 hours between Thursday and Saturday, I had it easy. And then Monday hit.

I was on our A hall, which is one of the more critical hallways. Keep in mind, I had barely worked in three months. I had a critical patient for the first seven hours and spent a good three hours hoping I’d eat before 5pm. Once I made it to lunch, I updated my facebook status, “I forgot what it’s like to spend three hours hoping you get to eat lunch sometime before 5pm. I’ll just take this time to welcome myself back to being a nurse.

Somebody replied, “Or a mom…

Now, being a nurse is probably not the hardest job out there. And I’m not a mom, thankfully. However, I was slightly offended by the comment. Instead of dealing with one child, I’m dealing with three people. And not just even three people, but three lives. I was in the room with a sick patient for seven hours and I hardly got a break. Luckily, I had other nurses around me willing to help. But I was infusing fresh frozen plasma, titrating a dopamine drip, medicating my patient for vomiting, and I received an ambulance that I had to triage, draw blood on (and luckily he was set), and then I got an elderly lady who was extremely needy and I had a million labs on her. And I was working with the doctor who wants everything done yesterday (like, how dare I not know if x-ray came when I was in the room with another patient for the last 20 minutes and you can just go look in the system to see if they took it). I had to pee for a good few hours before I finally made it, and I didn’t get a chance to even take a sip of water for probably three. And if my man with a pressure of 70/40 didn’t have a nurse taking care of him, he’d have been in much worse shape… Not only do I have to coordinate my three patients with my lunch, but I have to coordinate it with the other nurses on my hallway and their patients. I did, over that seven hours, manage to shove my face with six crackers that I stole out of the front desk since I never even got a chance to go to the breakroom for my yogurt.

So when somebody says that’s “like a mom,” quite frankly, I’d rather be at home and hungry. Yup, maybe your baby doesn’t stop crying. Can you at least grab a snack? Something other than peanut butter crackers (when you try not to eat processed food)? Maybe you’re juggling five. If they have to eat, can you grab a bite of whatever you make them? I’d be okay standing up while I eat. I think being a mother has an entirely different type of hardships though, and really, they’re not comparable at all. I guess it just goes to show that people who aren’t nurses really have no idea what it’s like to be a nurse…

On a somewhat related note, the other day, I had a little chat with one of our new pediatric doctors. I was telling him that I don’t want to do patient care long term. My biggest reason is because I have a hard time feeling any sort of empathy when I’m caring for a patient when it’s their fault that they’re in those shoes. My second reason is management, doctors, Press Ganey, and all the other stuff you have to deal with as a nurse. The doctor was telling me that in order to touch the lives of the few that need it, that you have to deal with a lot of nonsense. And it’s true.

I have never been described as the most compassionate person ever. I’m more of the “tough love” kind of friend. I’m there for my friends, but I’m not a rainbows and butterflies type of girl. But I do like taking care of people. It still softens my little heart whenever I think of the old man with horrible contractures who could barely speak. When I took him to his room on the floor, he said, “Don’t leave.” I had spent tons of time with him trying to make him comfortable, which he probably didn’t get at a nursing home. I love that. I love that I can make another person feel better when they’re sick. But you mix in the management and their rules and the doctors and them rushing you and Press Ganey surveys that say you don’t listen to your patients, and you kind of what to shove it up their asses. I became a nurse to care for people. I didn’t become a nurse so I could ask people to fill out surveys. I also didn’t become a nurse to care for the attitudes of family, but I still have to be respectful to them when they yell at me because the hospital needs good reviews.

I think I need to find a place where I fit. I loved ER in the military. I don’t love ER on the civilian side. I don’t love 12 hour shifts. I don’t love not eating lunch. But then, some days I leave work and I’m just grateful that I do what I do. So I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. And when I do give up the ER, I’m not sure what I’ll even go to.

I’ll just apologize if this doesn’t make sense. I came off a crazy 12 hour shift at work, cleaned up the kitchen, and then did 2 1/2 hours of homework. Once Jon gets home from his softball game, I’m think it’s bed time! Tomorrow is a full day from 6am till I get out of class at 6:45pm, and then I have more homework to do…

The Love Story Part 3: Long Distance and Living Together

The “Love” Story Part 1: Iraq

The Love Story Part 2: The End of Iraq

Once we both ended up back in the States, I accepted a slot in the nursing school in Dahlonega and Jon and his ex girlfriend ended up in a relationship. Since we lived six hours away from each other and never spoke to each other, it was easy to get over the relationship.

Two months after getting home from Iraq, I went to Greece with two of my best friends. While I was on the internet there, I saw that Jon had updated his relationship status on facebook to single. My reaction completely caught me off guard and I knew I wanted to see what could happen. I actually called him from Greece, and then we ended up in contact with each other once I returned home. We both had to do a Yellow Ribbon event, which is something the Army makes you do after you get home from a deplyoment. We decided to sign up for the same one in Orlando and I’d go down to Jacksonville first and then we’d go from there.

I don’t remember much of my first trip to Florida. I do know that we spent about a week together and then shortly after, he drove up to Georgia and helped me move into my new house. We spent the summer in a trying time (at least that’s what I call it). We weren’t together but I wanted to be, and he was totally pushing away the idea of a relationship. Finally, on August 14th (the night of a Counting Crows concert), we got together because there was too much gray area with what was happening.

Being long distance was rough. I was able to see him almost every other weekend from August to December because of how my clinical days fell at nursing school. We talked on the phone nonstop, but we also continued to argue a lot. I remember frequently asking him if he’d ever be happy with me how I was, and I got a lot of, “I know who you can be, and I could be happy with that” type of responses. But we kept it going. Spring semester was extremely tough because my clinical schedule changed and I was only able to see Jon on drill weekends. We both knew we were either breaking up, or we had to live near each other. Since I was in nursing school, he moved up to be with me.

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    (The picture on the left, we were out in Jacksonville shortly after becoming “official” and the picture on the right is in Savannah with my parents.)

Living together was even harder than being long distance. Plenty of issues arose. First of all, he moved into my house, and it felt like my house to me. This improved slightly when we moved into another house after a few months, but I had a hard time letting somebody into my space. Most of the time, I think we hung out with each other because boyfriends and girlfriends are supposed to, not necessarily because we enjoyed each other’s company. I still felt like he was never happy with me. I never made him a priority over my friends. The list is endless.

We ended up letting Jon’s twin sister’s boyfriend live in our (very small) house, which I thought was temporary. That was another huge source of problems. In February of 2011, Jon broke up with me for a second time. I spent most of the month at my parent’s house, but we never felt like it was really over. I “moved back in” and we hoped that once I was out of nursing school, a lot of our issues would be resolved.

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    (The picture on the left was over Halloween in 2010, and the one on the right is over Valentine’s Day 2011, when we were actually broken up.)

I graduated nursing school, spent a month studying for my nursing boards, took the boards, and then immediately went to Spain. A girl that Jon was good friends with (and hadn’t talked to in 7 years) lost her mother while I was in Spain. I wasn’t pleased with how Jon was handling it, and he wasn’t pleased with my response. The night I came home from Spain, we broke up (for the third time) over the phone while he was in Florida and I was sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

To be continued again…

The Love Story Part 2: The End of Iraq

Part 1 (in case going back 2 days is too hard)

Once I was back in Iraq, things with Jon picked up pretty quickly. I came back sometime right at the end of September and was going to be off to Baghdad for the entire month of November. We continued spending all of our nights off together and started talking about the future. You know, the real life stuff, not just the deployment stuff. We would talk a lot about the would you still like me at home type of stuff, and we decided that we thought we would. Despite the fact that you don’t even have somewhat close to a regular life, you still feel like a normal person (you’re not, by the way… deployment “you” is totally different than real life “you”).

We decided that I’d apply to a nursing school just over the Georgia state line so that I could keep my HOPE scholarship (I had to stay in Georgia for it) and that we’d get an apartment together and live happily ever after.

I went off to Baghdad for the month and communication wasn’t quite as easy as it was in Tikrit (where our unit was). The internet was in and out and the phones were no good. There was a much longer wait for the computers. One night we were on the phone and when we went to get off the phone, I told Jon that I loved him. I think his response was something along the lines of, “Weeelll okay, I’m going to go to bed now.” I wasn’t disappointed since we hadn’t really been together that long, but I definitely did love him.

The next day, I got an email from him telling me that he loved me too. Baghdad seemed like the longest month ever. I couldn’t wait to get “home” to see him again! Unfortunately, every flight I was supposed to go back to Tikrit on was delayed, so I spent 3-4 days waiting to get home. I don’t recall if it was a sandstorm or if the flights were full, but I remember being ecstatic when I finally made it on the chinook to go see Jon!

This is actually when Jon came to pick me up when I flew in (flaw in Part 1, it was a long time ago, guys!). So this is when his buddy at the TOC told him I was flying in and he came to get me!

Shortly after I got home, I found out that Jon was going to go to Mosul sometime in December because our unit was going to take over the hospital there as well. I’d be staying in  Tikrit, which was pretty upsetting at the time but in just four short months, we’d be moving in together. We spent the month of December planning out a trip to France for when we returned to the States and working on our plans for starting our life together at home. We weren’t positive when he’d be leaving for Mosul, and I can’t even remember him leaving. It was sometime surrounding Christmas…

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(The picture on the left is their going away “party” for the Mosul people, and the right is one of our awesome Christmas photos, and that cot behind us was where our first kiss was. Romantic.)

Over the next two months, we talked on the phone every night. Luckily our phones were easily accessible, but because neither of us were doing anything and we would spend far too long on the phone every night, we found a lot of time to argue. There were a lot of clues in what he said that led me to believe that he may not be over his ex girlfriend, but since we had elaborate plans for our future, I ignored them. And then one night, he said we had to talk. And that talk led to him breaking up with me. And that break up led to him starting back up with his ex girlfriend.

And so I returned to the United States in April of 2009 as a single woman, who was accepted into nursing school in Dahlonega and in south Georgia.

To be continued… again…