Friday, January 28, 2011

Blogs I Love

I've actually been thinking about doing a post about my favorites blogs for the past few days.  Then my loving sister went and beat me to it with a post about her favorite blogs.  (I forgive you for stealing my idea, by the way).
Anyway, if you're looking for some fresh reading, here are some blogs I can't get enough of, including my favorite post from each of them....
Prose Therapy  My loving sister's blog.  As she points out when she tagged me, we are very much opposites, but I love that she’s so different from me.  She’s cynical, sarcastic, witty, and a very gifted writer (and I'm not just saying that because she's my sister).  This is also a great read if you've ever worked in food service.
Crossing the Thin Blue Line  This is JD's blog where he shares his inside view of what life is like in the academy.  He only has time to post about once a week, but it's still great to get his perspective.
Airing My Dirty Laundry, One Sock At A Time... Entertaining tales from a military wife as she tries to take care of 2 kids while her husband is in Korea for a year.  There are moments where I can totally relate to her relationship with her husband, and moments when my heart breaks for her and all the things she's going through.
Favorite Post: You've Been Owned
Confessions of a Grad School Bride  She’s juggling studying for her masters, a fiancé that lives 2 states away, and planning her wedding!  For those of you who love wedding planning, she often shares her ideas and asks for input on her attire, accessories, décor, etc.  Another reason I enjoy her blog is because she's living in Chicago, and the Midwest reminds me of home :)
Favorite Post: shoes, shoes, OMG, shoes
the bitchy waiter  If you’re looking for something LOL funny, this blog is for you- ESPECIALLY if you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry.  Not all of his posts are about waiter-ing, but they're equally hilarious.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Word of Advice

A word of advice to anyone taking on the police academy: Get married first.  JD and I often wonder how the single recruits do it without the emotional and physical support of a spouse.  Last night is the perfect example…
The recruits have finally earned the right to wear uniforms instead of suits (yay!), but that meant we had to prep his uniforms last night.  It’s the police academy, so you can’t just iron your shirt and call it a night, you have to thoroughly examine the entire uniform for imperfections.  With a pair of cuticle scissors and nail clippers, we inspected seams and clipped every stray thread on 7 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, and a jacket. It took a couple hours and was not fun.
After that, I quizzed JD.  As a special surprise yesterday, the instructors gave the recruits 25 new 10 codes that they were expected to learn overnight.  Luckily, JD is very good at memorizing and perfected the new 10 codes in under 30 minutes.

By the time we finished all of this, it was 11pm, (the only time we had spent not working on police stuff was the 15 minutes that we spent eating dinner), and realizing how much longer it would have taken without my help made me wonder how the single recruits do it.   Even with my help, JD's only real down time is on the weekends, and he still only has an evening he can spare.  The rest of his time is spent studying.

On second thought, maybe getting married isn't the best idea since you have no time to spend with your spouse (prepping uniforms together doesn't count).  

At the very least, hire an assistant.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No Cake For You

On Saturday, there was a family orientation for the police recruits.  I was able to meet other recruits, families (another wife and I commiserated about the stinky, nasty laundry that comes our way multiple days a week), and the instructors.  Yes, I shook hands with the men who’ve been making my husband miserable over the past few weeks.
They seemed perfectly nice to me (then again, they hadn’t been screaming in my face all week either).  They all smiled kindly and said “nice to meet you.”  This was disconcerting to JD; he wasn’t sure how to act around the relaxed versions of his instructors.  Despite the calm atmosphere, he was very much on edge, afraid he was going to do something he would get punished for on Monday.  
For example, there was cake, but most of the recruits didn’t take a piece, in case the instructors were taking notes on who would be doing extra pushups to burn off that cake on Monday.  I felt kind of guilty savoring my very large, heavily frosted piece in front of the recruits, but I was starving, and SOMEBODY had to eat it.  (FYI, it was delicious and worth every calorie.)
And then there were the chairs.  The recruits had spent Friday evening setting up chairs for the event, then spent most of Saturday morning debating whether they were supposed to put those same chairs away or not.  After much deliberation amongst them, one of the squad leaders finally got confirmation from an instructor that the chairs could wait till Monday. (JD wasn’t completely convinced, thinking maybe it was a trick, but it all turned out okay.)
The main message that the chief and instructors were trying to get across was, “We’re not trying to be mean or humiliate.  All we’re trying to do is prepare them for situations that may seem impossible.  You are their support system.  They will come home complaining.  Listen and empathize, but send them right back to us the next day.”
I think I can handle that.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Conversations with my Police Academy Husband

Yesterday, the police recruits ordered their body armor.
"I got the chest plate that covers all my vital organs," JD announced excitedly when he got home.  "Most people only got the ones that cover their heart.  They didn't seem to be that educated about body armor."
"You'd think they would have someone there to walk them through it.  I mean, it's kind of a big deal," I said, quoting one of my favorite lines from Anchorman.
"Well, the police department only requires us to get Level II armor, but I got Level III," he said.  He then listed all the different types of ammo his vest will protect against, including a type that will "shoot through a tree trunk with no problem."
I wanted to throw up.
"This is kind of a morbid conversation for dinner," I said.
He shrugged.
"So will you be wearing this at all times?" I asked.
"Yep, all day every day.  And my vest only weighs 6 pounds.  It didn't even feel like I had anything on!  In Afghanistan, my vest weighed 65 pounds with all of the water, ammo, grenades and stuff we had to carry."
He always mentions this kind of stuff so casually, like it's perfectly normal to be walking around with a grenade in your pocket.
"Luckily you won't be carrying grenades around the city," I laughed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I saw the text from JD as I was walking into work.  "I forgot..." the preview said.  My heart started to beat a little faster as I opened the text. Oh no.  What did he forget?  Something important?  Will they notice?  What are they going to do to him?!
I let out a sigh of relief as I read the full text, "I forgot my ring at home :("  
JD takes his wedding ring off at night because he can't sleep in anything "constraining."  *Insert joke here*
Anyway, he forgot to put it back on before he left this morning.  I thought it was sweet (and reassuring) that he was bothered by it.  He also mentioned it when he called me at lunch and again when he got home.
"Is it really the symbolism of it that you like or do you just like ring itself?" I teased.  JD really likes the style of his wedding band, so I thought maybe he missed it just because "it looks cool."
"I'm proud to be married to you, babe, and I want the world to know it," he replied.
It was one of those moments that completely caught me off-guard.  Not because I don't already know it, but because guys aren't always open about that kind of stuff.  I'm a lucky girl.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Comment about Comments

Hey everyone :)  I've had a couple people mention that they've tried to comment but can't because they don't they a Gmail Account.  Well, I finally went through and updated my settings so that anyone can leave a comment.  Sorry for the delay, and I'm excited to hear from more people now!  

Special Note to Anonymous....  I'm looking forward to our first encounter.

Remember to Breathe

9pm and even though we are in bed, the day is still not over because JD is studying.  Minus the 15 minutes we spent at the dinner table, this is the first moment we've had to sit down all night.  With the academy stuff keeping him so busy, I'm taking on most of the household stuff myself.  I was prepared for it, and it's one of the things I can do to be supportive, but that doesn't make it fun.

Similar to JD's ups and downs, I have days where I feel completely energized and in control, and days where I feel there's barely a second to stop and breathe.  I can't even imagine how I'd be feeling if we had kids.

Still, it could be worse.  Another police academy wife blogged that between caring for their new baby, his study time, and prepping his uniform for the next day, they never got to bed before 1am.   Based on her experiences, I had braced myself for something along those lines.  We're exhausted, but we're not sleep deprived, if that makes any sense.  So that's one thing to be thankful for.  Hopefully it stays that way!

Week 3: Today the instructors decided to switch things up.  The recruits are no longer allowed to talk to a couple of their instructors, including the instructor JD really liked and trusted.  It was nice to know there was someone there he could talk to honestly, and now JD feels like there's no one.  The new instructors are much harder on them and it's already stressing JD out.

On the bright side, he's passed all 3 of his tests so far and he says he can already feel himself getting faster and stronger.  Also, both of the pairs of shoes I ordered came in.  I know I promised to blog all about them, but I'll save that for another day :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Dog Who Eats Everything

I seem to be a magnet for pets with really quirky traits.

Growing up, we had 2 different cats who liked to bite us for no reason.  One even lurked behind corners so he could lunge and nip at your ankles as you walked by.  This same cat was also lactose intolerant (I mean, really?  Aren't cats supposed to love milk?!).  In college, I had a 10 cent goldfish that lived for 5 years, surviving numerous car trips to and from school, and the time the boys downstairs tried to feed him a hot tamale candy.  I've had several dogs since childhood, none of which have enjoyed the car.  In fact, they all pretty much hated it.  One even got motion sick and had to be sedated for trips.

JD and I discovered our latest pet quirk while trying to break Sadie of eating out of Harrier's bowl.  Poor Harrier has always been a grazer.  He'll eat throughout the day as he feels like it, but now that Sadie is in the house, he has to eat as soon as we put down the food, otherwise it may not be there when he comes back.  He rarely finishes his whole bowl, so there's usually a bit leftover... until Sadie sneaks over when we're in the next room.

I can't really blame her- I mean, if I'd been hit by a car and spent part of my young life living (and starving) in a bush, I'd probably eat as much as I could find too.  Still, she gets her fair share of food, and we need to find a way to break this habit.  Unfortunately, she seems to enjoy all the things people normally use to deter dogs.

Of course our first thought was to use Bitter Apple, since that worked when she was whining in the middle of the night.  The only problem is that she's seemed to acquire a taste for it; the last time I tried to use it after she chewed a baseboard, she started licking the wall as if it was a delicious treat.  JD and I immediately knew we were in trouble.

So, we decided that Tabasco might make a bigger impact, and put a bit on her tongue the next time she ate out of Harrier's bowl.  We watched in amazement as she licked her lips (do dogs have lips?) delightfully.  Our next attempt was to set up a "bait bowl" while Harrier was outside, using some food covered in my stepdad's homemade super-hot sauce (sorry R, it was a last resort, but I assure you this was the only time it wasn't used for human consumption).  Not only did she finish the food, SHE LICKED THE BOWL CLEAN.  Same when we tried cayenne pepper.  Wtf?!  Does this dog not have taste buds?  

So, we're fresh out of ideas.  The dog apparently eats everything, and hot sauce only seems to make Harrier's food more appealing.  

We welcome any suggestions :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Things I'm Excited About

The We Care Committee at my office voted to support Operation Homefront as one of our charities this year. I’m not just excited because it was my suggestion, but also because supporting the military is so near and dear to my heart <3  In fact, there wasn’t much discussion about it; as soon as I suggested it, everyone on the committee immediately agreed and said that supporting our military is always a good cause.  I had to hold back a tiny tear.

I have 2 new pairs of adorable ballet flats that are being shipped my way.  I feel like are just what I need to round out my shoe collection.  Although I’m sure you’re dying to hear all about them, I think I’ll wait and share pics when they come in.  So you all can look forward to that :)

This week, JD seems to be enjoying the academy more.  Not all day every day, but more often than not.  It’s a huge sigh of relief.  He’s getting more comfortable with his instructors and the other recruits.  He even came home with a smile on his face the other day!

My goddaughter loved the present I sent for her 3rd birthday.  I don’t have a lot of experience with kids, so I was unsure what to buy.  I spent way too long wandering the toy aisle at Target, and finally settled on a Play-Doh kit.  Apparently, she LOVES Play-Doh and when she opened it she said, “This is what I’ve always wanted.  How did Aunt Jenny know?”  She also said that JD is her best friend, which made his day :)

This weekend.  Not only is it going to be back in the 50’s, but we have a 3 day weekend!!  I will admit this makes me feel like a huge baby for 2 reasons: 1. I’m sure my family in Ohio wants to slap some perspective into me for complaining that it was in the 30’s-40’s this week.  2.  I just had a bunch of time off over the holidays, so another long weekend seems unnecessary.  To these things I say:  1. I’ve always been a baby about the cold.  2.  Three day weekends are always a good idea.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Feeling Restless

I never imagined I’d be the kind of person to move around all the time.  I’m a homebody by nature, and get very attached to the people around me and the familiarity of home.  I love NC, I love my friends, I love our house, and I love my job, but lately I’ve been craving a change of scenery.

I’d love to go live in the mountains somewhere.  Or even just take a vacation.  There are so many places I’d love to explore, like Las Vegas, wine country, the Rockies... and that’s just in the U.S.!

But now we’re adults.  We have a mortgage, jobs, and other responsibilities here.  I don’t want to sound ungrateful for what we have, because I’m not.  I love that we own a house that we’ve made into our home.  I’m thankful that we’re both happily employed, that we have great friends and a great marriage.

For now, we have to be thankful for the opportunities we’ve had and all of the other wonderful things in our lives.  We have each other, our health, great friends and family, 3 awesome dogs we were able to rescue, a great home, and great jobs.  As far as life experiences- I’ve experienced the joy of Disney World, took in the view atop the Empire State Building, enjoyed a dream honeymoon to St. Lucia, fearlessly left home to move to NC, taken in vibrant Key West, shopped Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, and swam in the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

Okay, now I’m starting to sound spoiled :)  My point, really, is that despite all of the things we are unable to do in our lifetime, there are so many other things we’ve been blessed with.  Maybe someday I’ll have the time and means to do a bit more exploring, but for now, I’ll enjoy the wonderfulness of the present.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Anxiety of it All

JD and I have spent the entire first week of the academy in a constant state of apprehension.  There’s always so much stuff to remember… Does he need to wear PT gear or his suit in the morning?  Did he pack his other clothes to change into for the afternoon?  Does he have his books and lunch?  Is there ANYTHING he forgot?  

Everything has to be done a certain way.  He has to make sure he has a pen, but it can’t be any old pen, it has to be the RIGHT pen.  Mess even the smallest thing up, and it could have large consequences.  

Imagine preparing for the biggest day of your life every single evening.  That’s kind of what it feels like.
It’s his academy, but I’m sharing in his anxiety.  On Monday night, I jolted awake hourly, afraid that the alarm hadn’t gone off and he was going to be late.  I’m constantly making checklists in my head, making sure he has everything he needs before he leaves, and asking about a zillion questions.  “Did you remember to label your PT gear?  Do you need this pen?  Am I driving you crazy yet?!” 
Last night, I was sitting in the living room relaxing in front of the TV when I heard him cursing upstairs.  I went to check what was wrong.  He didn’t know where the thumb drive they gave him was, and this is something that has a lot of important info on it.  If they make you hold plank position for 35 minutes over dropping something on the floor, I didn’t want to think what would happen if he couldn’t find this.
I told him to take a deep breath and think of the last place he remembered having it.
“It was in my jacket pocket, but it’s not in there anymore.  It must have fallen out,” he said.  I could tell he was really worried.
I suggested he look in the car, and I went to look in the dryer.  I had freshened his suits with Dryel earlier, and luckily, that’s exactly where it was.
I had to laugh as I said, “You never check your pockets.  You consistently put change, receipts, chapstick, and gum through the wash.  What made you think keeping this vitally important thing in your pocket was a good idea?”
I could tell he was not as amused as I was; he told me that he felt safer having it with him all the time.
“Well, considering you’re running around and doing pushups in your suit, you’d be better off leaving it in your locker instead,” I pointed out.  “I’m afraid it’s going to fall out of your pocket or something.”
Always an adventure :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Face Time

Tonight as we were cleaning up dinner, JD said, “I miss you a lot.”
From the beginning, we were prepared for long hours and lots of homework, but it’s the little things we miss the most.  Like how we can’t text random thoughts during the day or call just to say hello.
On the positive side, it means we really value the time we do have together.  The past 3  nights we ate dinner at the table.  Yeah, that round thing in our kitchen isn’t just for decoration.  (I think our TV feels betrayed.)  We take advantage of dinner time to talk about the day, and even though we don’t have a lot of time together, I’ve felt especially close to him the past few days.

Maybe because his exhaustion seems to mask his ADD.  By the end of the day, he only has energy to focus on one thing.  Luckily, that one thing is me :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Missing Persons Report

The police department has stolen my husband.  Apparently when they say that the academy will run till 5, what they really mean is that the academy will run till 5, then they’ll be forced to stay there till 6:30 doing pushups and leg raises, then they’ll come home and be up till 10 doing paperwork.
The next 6 months is going to be awesome!
JD and I discussed his first day over big plates of spaghetti (carb loading seemed like an appropriate way to end a day of ass-kicking).
Someone dropped something on the floor and they held a plank (or pushup) position for 35 minutes.  Someone left their locker unlocked, and they held their arms over their heads for 14 minutes (while in full business attire).  I dare you to try either of those things for even 5 minutes.  Let me know how that works out for ya...
“This is why I have a desk job,” I laughed.  “The most I have to worry about is carpal tunnel.”  
“Wish I had that problem,” he grumbled.
“No you don’t.  You’d be miserable,” I reminded him.
He seemed a little disheartened.  I looked him in the eyes and said, “Babe, I know you can do this.  It will get easier.”
“I know,” he sighed.
As I cleaned up our dishes from dinner, I asked if he wanted eggs for breakfast.  
“You don’t have do that.  There’s no need for you to get up early,” he said.
“It’s only 15 minutes, and the dogs will probably wake me up once your alarm goes off anyway.”
He took me in his arms and gave me a big hug.  “Thanks so much for your support and everything you do.  You’re going to make this so much easier than it will be for the single guys.”
I’m pretty awesome, but this still won’t be easy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's Time

Academy Countdown: 1 day
JD came up to me today and put his arms around my waist.  “I apologize in advance if I’m super stressed over the next 6 months and it affects our relationship.”
“It’s okay babe,” I replied.  I meant what I said, but it doesn’t mean I’m not a little afraid.
We’ve both heard the warnings- from family friends, fellow bloggers, and current police officers.  The next 6 months are going to be the hardest of our marriage.  We know it’s going to be a roller coaster.  I remind myself that it’s only temporary, that the end result will be so worth it, and that I can be strong and patient, but 6 months is still a long time.  It will be July before this is all behind us.
He will do his best, but I know that I will not have all of him, because he’ll be giving so much of himself to the academy.  I will be there quizzing him, massaging his aching muscles, and being his emotional rock.  It’s his academy, but we’re going through it together.  
His suits are ready, the bag with everything he needs to keep in his locker is packed up, and he’s (we’ve) been studying throughout the day.  We’re as ready as we can be.
Here goes nothing.