Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Verdict Is In

Last week, JD took his police state certification test.  He had done well on his tests throughout the academy, studied hard, and went into the exam with confidence.  But when he called me after he’d finished his test, I could immediately tell by his tone that he wasn’t happy.

In fact, no one in the academy was happy.  The exam was very different than the practice exam they had taken, and some of the multiple choice answers didn’t seem to align with what they’d learned.  JD says they’re trying to change the format of the state exam, and his group may have been the guinea pigs (just a guess).

I assured him that there were a few tests he’d taken that he was unsure of, but ended up doing really well on, and I was sure that he’d passed.  Still, it was an anxiety-filled weekend waiting to find out if he’s passed.

He called me around lunchtime on Monday.

“I passed,” he announced, and I could practically hear him grinning through the phone.

I was elated, I was relieved, but mostly I was proud, especially when I heard what his score ended up being.

92.  Highest in his class.

I think that people have a tendency to underestimate his intelligence.  People stereotype him because he doesn’t have a college degree and he was in the Marine Corps, but the truth is neither of those things disqualify you from being an intelligent person.  He may like dinosaur chicken nuggets and have ADD, but he's extremely smart.

JD now has his district and shift assignments; he got exactly what he was hoping for, which means he's working in the more dangerous part of the city.  In less than 2 weeks, our academy journey will be over but our journey as a law enforcement family will be just beginning.  I can sense some really good blog material in the near future :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

What's Been Up

I’m baaack!  Whew, JD and I have just been swamped this month.  It seems we always have something to do, so much so that I haven’t found much time to blog :) So far this month, we volunteered at the Special Olympics, hosted a cookout for the police recruits, visited one of JD’s best friends who lives in Charlotte, and it won’t be slowing down for at least a few more weeks!

Here I am working at the Special Olympics

And here the guys are playing (they LOVED that golf cart)

Checking out the sites in Charlotte

My birthday is on Thursday, so we’ll be going out to dinner for that, then in two weeks we go home to Ohio for my 10 year high school reunion, and another week after that will be JD’s academy graduation, which means his family will be in visiting from Michigan and staying with us!  It’s hard to believe that we’ve put 5 ½ months of the academy behind us and he will be patrolling the city streets in 3 short weeks.  It’s scary and exciting and a huge relief all at the same time.

In other news, I joined a flag football team.  This may surprise those of you that remember this post, but my neighbor said her friend’s co-ed team really needed girls, so I signed up thinking it sounded like fun.  I soon realized that I may have gotten into something a bit more serious than I had originally intended, when my neighbor recommended that I bring cleats.  I wanted to back out when I saw that text.

But… I went.  I thought maybe I could get away with just playing defense or, similar to when Ross plays rugby on Friends, “look really enthusiastic and stay away from the ball,”  but they require that a girl touches the ball once every four offensive downs.  It was clear during warm ups that I was NOT the person to be passing the ball to, so I made it my job to run around and keep at least 1 defender off the people who could actually catch.  My team won 5-1, and I like to think that I made some contribution to that (besides running around and looking important on offense, I also broke up a pass and ran a guy out of bounds on defense).

So far, my team hasn't tried to trade me, so I guess I'm doing okay :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quality vs. Quantity

Last night, there was a family readiness presentation for family members of JD’s recruiting class.  I think it’s a great thing that the police department does stuff like this, because being a police officer isn’t just a job, it’s a complete lifestyle change.  

As I sat there, I realized that I’d been so focused on getting through the academy, I hadn’t stopped to think how much our lives will change once the academy is over and he’s out on the street.  I was prepared for weird hours and night shifts and dangerous situations and his elevated stress level after a particularly difficult day.  I was not prepared for how it could change him as a person.  I realized that I’ve already started to see a shift.  He has to sit facing the door at restaurants because it’s “tactical,” he wants me to have my own gun to protect myself when he’s not home (I’m constantly reminding him that I have 3 large dogs- Harrier in particular), and he suddenly seems convinced that I need to carry pepper spray in my purse, in case I get attacked in a parking lot… too many crime scene pictures, I guess.  None of these things are necessarily bad, just different, but I know that it will only get worse once he’s out on the street.  He’s going to see some pretty gruesome stuff out there- enough to make anyone more cynical.

As if that isn’t scary enough, the presenter (a police wife) got into how it affects family life, and I was introduced to new stressors.  I knew that because of JD’s weird hours, there will be a lot of times that I will be taking care of our future kids, disciplining them, and taking them to lessons by myself.  What I hadn’t stopped to think about is how it will affect them directly.  JD won’t always be able to see recitals or concerts or games, and although we chose this path for ourselves, our kids never had a say in this plan.  I’m not even a parent yet, and I already feel guilty.

What I have to remind myself is that, although JD won’t always be physically present, I know that he will be an amazing, adoring, attentive father.  Quality over quantity, you might say.  Ideally, our children would have both (just another sacrifice that our military/public safety workers and their families make), but in the end, quality is way more important.  I would take part-time JD over full-time anyone else every single time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

He Broke It, They Paid For It

The other night, I was looking down at JD’s wedding band and remembered the time he came home from a BMX session with a huge chunk missing from his ring.

I can’t say I was completely surprised, but I was slightly irritated considering we had looked at that particular line of rings because they were “practically indestructible.”  Clearly, whoever made up that selling point had never met JD. 

We didn’t even have a maintenance or insurance package for his ring because they’re “so durable, we don’t sell any kind of insurance package for this line.”


So we took his ring to the store and showed them what happened.

For a moment, the sales manager was speechless.  Then, he finally said, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Of course he hadn’t.  Only JD could manage to break an “indestructible” ring.

If you think about it, JD could be a great product tester.  If he can’t break it on his BMX bike, motorcycle, in the middle of a police shootout, or by leaving it within reach of the dogs (but this is really a separate issue) no one can.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dear Running, I Still Hate You

The verdict is in.  I still hate running.

JD and I threw on our Five Fingers for another run last night.  The first quarter mile was good.  I was chatting with him about my day and enjoying the late evening sunshine.  But shortly before the half mile mark, my throat started to burn (the same feeling you get when you’re breathing heavy when it’s cold outside), except it wasn’t cold at all- it was hot and muggy, and I was miserable.  And then it hit me.  I needed to stop trying to force myself to like something I didn’t.

I have a gym membership and I go regularly.  There are several classes that I love and I enjoy having variety in my workouts throughout the week.  So I don’t really NEED to run.  It just always sounds like fun, and I wish I liked it more.

Alas, there will be no 13.1 or 26.2 stickers on the back of my car (I always envy those people).  Maybe I'll just put a picture of me in crow pose on the back of my car instead.  

I can be cool too.

I could see JD was a little disappointed, and I’m a little worried he won’t keep up with running after the academy is over without me there by his side to motivate him.  But fair is fair.  I don’t make him come to yoga, so he can’t make me run :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Oh No She Didn't!

Sadie is a brat.

I love her dearly, but it's true.  Her new favorite game is to steal whatever toy that Boyd is chewing on and run and hide under the bed with it.  

We have approximately 8 million toys lying around the house (I know, because I trip over them all the time), but she always seems to want the one Boyd has at that particular moment.

Boyd usually tries to chase her, but since he's twice her size, he can't fit under the bed to go after her.  One day, he actually got stuck there, and instead of panicking or whining, he waited patiently for me to find him.

When I finally walked into the bedroom, I saw nothing but his butt and tail sticking out from under the bed.

"Boyd?" I inquired.

His tail wagged.

"Are you stuck?"

More wagging.

I laughed as I lifted the corner of the bed to free him.  He gave me a grateful look before he trotted away.
They say pit bulls are vicious (Really?  THIS guy?  Vicious?!) 

but I think Sadie is the one to watch out for in our family (don't let the sweet face fool you).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back to Reality

I'm starting to take for granted that JD hasn't had a major motorcycle incident since the pre-wedding incident.  Not to say I don't worry when he goes out, but I don't let myself worry as much as I used to.

This weekend, I was reminded why I used to worry so much.  He went on a trip to the mountains with a group of sport bike riders who like to take advantage of the curvy mountain roads.  He called on Saturday to check in and mentioned that one of the other riders had gotten in an accident.  

"Is he okay?" I asked casually.  I've gotten used to guys wrecking relatively often, but they usually only have a few bumps and bruises, with a scratch or two to the bike.

"Yeah, the ambulance came and got him."

"Oh wow.  Well, is he going to be okay?"

It was JD's turn to be disturbingly casual.  "Yeah, he broke his collarbone and his leg.  He'll need surgery."

"You say that like it’s no big deal.”

"Well, the good news is, no one got a ticket."

I was glad to see that he had things in proper perspective.

"Was he wearing gear?" I asked.

"Of course," JD replied.

My heart sank.  I was hoping that the rider wasn’t wearing proper gear and that’s why his injuries were so bad.  It would have given me confidence that wearing full gear could protect JD from bad injuries.  Of course, riding is dangerous no matter what you’re wearing.  I know that... but I like to pretend it’s not true.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Miss You

This past weekend, my awesome sister, Kelly, flew all the way from Ohio to visit me.  I was so, so happy to have her here, and was even a little glad that JD was on a motorcycle trip in the mountains on Saturday and Sunday, because it meant we got some quality one-on-one time.  We went to the art museum and watched movies, but mostly just hung out and chatted.  Before I knew it, it was Tuesday morning and I had to drop her off at the airport, which meant most of my work day was spent trying not to tear up at my desk.  

I love her sense of humor and her ability to make me see the world in a different way.  I miss our inside jokes and staying up late, chatting about nothing.  I have the best sister in the world, not just because she's a good sister, but because she's an awesomely beautiful and intelligent person who brings so much joy to everyone in her life.  I don't think I tell her that enough.

Sometimes, I wonder how or why I ever moved away from home.  Luckily, I have an amazing family who understood that it was what I needed to do, and understands why I love living in North Carolina so much.  If I could have it all, I would certainly have them here with me (I try to convince them to move here on a pretty regular basis), but I don't regret the decision to move, because near or far, my family will always be there for me.

Miss you all.

**Sorry if this post was cheesy or a downer.  Just had to be honest!