Monday, March 29, 2010

Balancing Act

Today I'm going to start the ultimate balancing act for my budding career - I'll be editing a novel while writing another. This is completely new territory for me and I'm a bit nervous. I mean, concentrating on a book and writing it is one deal, but trying to write one book while editing another is a whole other monster. It's kind of scary but I suppose there's nothing I can do except jump right in!

So here's the plan. With my first novel I wrote 1500 words a day. Well this one I won't jump right in like that. I think 500 words a day for a little bit is good and when I'm comfortable, I'll bump it up to 1000 with an ultimate goal of 1500. I'll write first and then jump into editing. I'm not sure what my daily editing goal will be for my other novel so I'll see after a week of trying this out what works best.

I'm nervous about the novel I'm writing. It's the sequel I came up with while writing Calista. My mind has been bouncing around trying to decide which novel to work on after Calista and I guess I'll be doing this sequel. I'm still feeling it out and I'm unsure where it's going exactly, but maybe that's good, huh?

The next few months will be hard for my writing. Brandon will be coming home and preparing for deployment. His unit will be having a bunch of 4 day weekends and half-days for April to May. That kind of cuts into my writing time! Brandon is more important than anything though and I won't sacrifice what little time I have with him to work on my writing. A military wife's priorities are a little weird, I'll admit!

Speaking of Brandon... his flight coming home from NTC got pushed back a day and a half. That's the Army for you! He isn't too happy especially since he has absolutely nothing to do between now and then. I hope he can keep occupied alright!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Sunday!

And Happy Post 180! This will be a short one, I think. I don't know what I want to write today but I feel the need to type a blog every few days. I've been busy with my friends, keeping ourselves occupied while our husbands are gone. Good news though: Brandon comes home this week! While I'm not really allowed to say exactly what day (online, anyway), it's definitely before my birthday. Yay.

On Friday we saw "The Bounty Hunter" and then had homemade lasagna at one friend's house. Yummy. Yesterday we went to the beach and hung out with other friends, though that's a whole other story I don't feel like explaining right now, haha. We ended the night with some pizza and a Netflix! Brandon got to call me on Friday night. It was great! He sounds so tired and sick but he'll be home soon and I can nurse him better.

Dexter has proven to be extra expensive lately... I brought him to the vet on Wednesday and found out he has mange. Basically every dog has these mites on them and when they're growing/stressed or something, these mites can start irritating. So as he was growing his mites grew too and some of his hair fell out. He had to get some skin scraped to check, poor guy, and he does have it. I need to go through all his hair soon to see if there are any other spots. I'm not too worried about the mange really. I got some cream to see if that helps. Poor puppy knows what it is now, though, and he fights me before I put it on! Haha.

And then on Friday he peed in the house twice. He hasn't peed in the house in a long long time so I got worried. One friend said it could be a UTI and after he peed a second time, I figured it might be good to go to the vet. Well after way too many expensive tests to see if his kidneys were ok, we find out that yes, it is a UTI. I got sent home with some antibiotics and a chunk of money from my wallet. This dog is turning out to be super expensive!

Alright, time to feed these pets. I hope you all have a good Sunday :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Time keeps on slipping...

Today marks Brandon being gone for 5 weeks. Not too bad! Three years ago, 5 weeks would have been torture. Now after some test runs, 5 weeks is a piece of cake. Sure, I get lonely sometimes, I get angry, but really, I can handle 5 weeks. I'm nervous about a whole year!

Brandon gets to call me tomorrow night or Saturday morning. Can't wait! I haven't heard his voice for two weeks. It's funny, I feel like I've forgotten somehow. Like when he's gone I push the "married" Chantal out and go back into "single" mode. Laundry is all girls clothes (except for the boxers I wear to bed sometimes, hehe), the dishes are all small spoons and forks and plates, and it is much cleaner. There's always an adjustment period when he leaves or comes back but it's manageable. I can't wait for him to come home!

I reflect on 5 weeks sometimes, though. It isn't really that long. Some days I feel like it's been an eternity since he left but most days it's like "Oh, he only just left, ok." I dunno, it's hard to explain. Time just goes on as normal and some days it's quick, some days not (um, like yesterday when I watched TV all day. Darn cold).

Anyway, I'm excited for him to come home. Not so excited for him to see the credit card... (Hey, I haven't been buying a lot, but I've been eating out more and I found some cute shirts on sale! Can't keep me away from a good sale).

Monday, March 22, 2010


I had a little panic attack earlier at the store thinking "When did I last update my blog?!" Come to find out, it was two days ago. I guess I don't have much to say, then.

I got hit with a little cold yesterday. Sore throat, cough and achy head. I swore I had meningitis but I think that's passed... yes, the hypochondriac in me comes out at the worst times - usually when Brandon isn't here to tell me to stop being dumb. My cold will pass, it's just annoying. I can't remember the last time I had a legitimate cold. Oh, I take that back, right as I was typing that I remembered. It was when I was staying at my mom's in May for 3 weeks before moving to Georgia. They lovingly gave me a horrible sickness. Thanks mom. ;)

As you know, I finished my first novel edit Saturday. I went and printed it out at the UPS store, all 255 pages. It only cost $15 though! When I picked it up it felt, I don't know, fulfilling. I can't wait to take my pens and get to work. I have 4 different colors, I wonder what they'll all mean!

Oh! Brandon emailed me today!! He grabbed someone's computer and shot me an email. I responded but it was no use because he was gone by then. Still, yay! He's miserable but he's still alive, and he can't wait to get home. Poor guy. I get to finally hear from him on Friday/Saturday. Can't wait!

I've been spending tons of time with my friends. I don't think I've been this social since high school. How did I do it then? I'm exhausted these days! Today was a ME day, which I spent cleaning and watching TV. A good day in my book.

Dexter is doing good from his surgery. No pain or anything. He's a trooper. Winston is always annoying me but being cute sometimes. There are chores that I need to do but I don't want to. I think I'll go nurse my headache now and watch "New Moon."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Edit #1 Done!

So just right now I finished my second edit of my novel, Calista. This edit was just a rough edit - I wanted to go through, cut out the worst sentences and words, and get a feel for my novel. There's some good potential there! Some parts suck (you can definitely tell my bad days) but some parts are pretty good. I'm excited for the next part, where I'll be super duper editing it! Hopefully that won't take forever.

Current stats for this stage:

Began: March 1, 2010
Ended: March 20, 2010
First Draft Final Word Count: 103,613
Second Draft Final Word Count: 99,600 (-4013)
MS Word Pages: 255
Chapters: 26

I'll take a couple days break and then actually print it out and jump into it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So I was tagged by Marissa at Living the Life of an Infantryman's Wife to list the ten things that make me happy. So while I'm procrastinating working on my novel (because it's incredibly loud around my house right now), I'll let you guys know what my top ten are!

1. Brandon: How could Brandon not go first? We've been together for nearly 4 years, been married for nearly 2, and I just can't imagine life without him. Sure, we aren't perfect, we fight sometimes, we annoy each other, but that's married life, right? I know I love him truly and deeply. I'm excited when he calls me, I'm excited when he walks through the door. His smile makes me smile, his laugh makes me laugh. He's handy to have around the house too! I love him, he makes me happy.
2. Dexter & Winston: Ok, Winston doesn't make me happy most of the time... but he will cuddle with you during the night and when he meows it's just cute. He does make me smile. Dexter, though, is the love of my life! Haha. I love that dog. He frustrates me (um, jumping from moving vehicles?), but I love that face of his. I love playing games with him because he just looks so happy. I love when he comes and sits by me and I pet him. He's a good puppy!
3. Nature: I wanted to put Mountains and then the Ocean, but I'm lumping it all into Nature. I get kind of giddy when I go on hikes. I like being in the forest, smelling the flowers, feeling the wind through the trees. I like going to the ocean and tasting the salt in the air and feeling the sand under my feet. I like to look out on the mountains in the background. The blue sky makes me happy, rain makes me smile, and I can't complain about the sun!
4. Good ol' Colorado: I moved to this state when I was 12 years old. I remember the mountains breaking the horizon. You just can't beat seeing those things for the first time. It's the place where I grew up for the most part. I love every part of that state!
5. Including... Colorado Springs: This is my adopted hometown. When people ask where I'm from this is the city I say. I spent 4 years here, graduated college, met my husband, had great experiences. It has such a great feel to it. It's a small city so you can drive around it easily, but it's big for those small-town folks. It just has a good feel to it. It makes me happy :).
6. New Recipes: I love cracking open the cookbook and finding a new recipe to try. It's kind of exciting, like starting a new adventure. Even if it doesn't turn out quite right, I still have fun doing it.
7. Music: I love music and I don't listen to it enough. Right now I'm listening to Pop Opera! Haha. Anyway, I feel a certain connection with music, it's hard to describe. It makes me feel good. I listen to the lyrics and connect with them. Music makes me laugh, cry, smile, depressed. It's everything. Now if I could sing well that would make me even happier!
8. My Family: I usually describe my family as "crazy" (and it's pretty true), but they make me happy. I know I can always rely on my sisters to give me advice or even just someone to talk to. Same with my mom! They frustrate me a lot but I love having them all around. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have all of this family!
9. Learning: I miss university sometimes just for the learning aspect. I loved sitting in class and listening to my teachers tell us new things. It's like they're telling us stories. That's probably why I like history so much, because it's just one big story. Learning new random facts makes me especially happy (I'm gearing up for my surprise appearance on Cash Cab). I don't think there's any substitute for learning some good, hard information. ;)
10. Writing & Reading: This is basically my job now. While I haven't read much in the last month (reader's block?), I've been working on my writing. I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing new stories. Ok, I guess that would be when I couldn't write... but even then, I was making up stories for all my toys. My mind has always been in its own little story world but I like it there. It makes me happy to explore my stories, to find out things about my characters or about their world I didn't know before. Without writing I wouldn't feel fulfilled. Even if I don't make it as anything big, I know I can still have my writing there as my own personal escape.

So there ya go! Wow, as I got to the end I wanted to do more! My job now is to tag 3 people to do this so we can continue the chain. I choose...

Mrs. Monje
Stephanie "Z"
Brittany M.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dog Beach Disaster!

I suck you in with my titles, don't I? ;)

It wasn't a disaster but it could have been. I'm driving up to the beach on the dirt road in the dirt parking lot, about 50 feet from where I usually park. Dexter is in the backseat crying because he's so excited he wants to get out. So I roll up the front windows and I'm rolling up the back windows when I look at my side mirror and...

Dexter is halfway out of the car!

I slam on my brakes right as he jumps out of the window and takes off down the beach. I say a few swear words, keep the car running but put it in park and take off after him swearing even more. He's all excited and oblivious to the fact that I'm so angry with him. He finally runs back and I drag him to the car so I can park. We have a time-out until my friend arrives.

Ugh! He could have been run over!!

After the dog beach my friend and I eat lunch and chat down the road. Well I'm walking back to my car and see something underneath. It's a stray cat. When Dexter went near it the cat hissed and went further underneath my car. So I'm thinking great, I'm going to be stuck here. I don't want to run it over! Finally it gets scared and runs off.

Geez, what an exciting day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

What a weekend!

Since our husbands are gone with no communication, us wives have been banding together to keep busy. I was super busy all weekend and the time is just flying by, I can't believe it. Let me give you the rundown.

Friday: Brandon called at 3:30am for his last call, aw. In the morning I went down to the Pearl Harbor area to the dog beach. I go every week now with my friend Michelle so our dogs can run around. We stood out there for two hours, got sunburnt, and then went to eat some lunch. Maybe 4 hours together? I dunno, we spent the whole time talking. Afterwards I had to head home to shower and get ready for a dinner with the Battalion Commander's wife. She invited all the LT wives to dinner. It was expensive (average of $15.99 per meal), but whatev, and I felt out of place because I wasn't dressed as nice (what, tshirt and jeans don't work for everything?). Anyway, it seemed everyone there was best friends except me, but I knew a couple girls so we chatted it up. Finally I got myself out of there and managed to go home to rest.

Saturday: In the morning Dexter had his AKC S.T.A.R Puppy Exam. He passed (it was ridiculously easy), yay. We went home and waited for a bit. Then my three friends and I got together (Michelle, Courtney, Christina with her 5 month old Marcus), and we headed down to Barnes and Noble where there was a book signing for Dog the Bounty Hunter! Sadly, we didn't see him because the line was long, the rules were dumb (had to buy the book, no posing, no talking really...), and we just didn't feel like it. Instead we walked around the mall, ate at this wonderful build-your-own-burger place, and then went off to Babies R Us (since all my friends have babies or are pregnant!). Then we grabbed a pizza from Costco, had a movie night where we didn't even watch the movie (how do you get anything done with a bunch of women in a room?), and called it a night late.

Sunday: I finally cleaned my house a bit before my friends drug me out to the Farmer's Market. After that we went to the beach and laid around for a little bit soaking in the sun. After the beach it was back home where I did some laundry, watched a movie, relaxed mostly. Then it was back to Christina's house for dinner and watching The Pacific and Minute to Win It, neither of which we watched really. Back home, relaxing, then bed. Wow, what a weekend!

Now I need to get some work done on my novel before yoga, then more work, and then in the afternoon we're going in search of the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean, and maybe some malasada's for a treat. Yum. :)

Two Year Blog

I thought it would be good to mention that 2 years ago today I first blogged on my blog! Here's the link: March 15, 2008

Now sorry, mom, because I was mad at you so I said so in my blog :P. That was two years ago though! I love you! After the March 15 blog I didn't blog again until July 13, then blogged all summer, then not again until the winter, but since December 2008 I've been blogging pretty regularly. Wow! How time flies!

Friday, March 12, 2010

So it begins!

Ok, I don't want to sound too over-dramatic because it really isn't a big deal (yet...). Today Brandon had to turn in his cell phone for the next two weeks, as did pretty much everyone there, because they are finally getting into the more intense training in California. We knew it was coming for a couple months now but it's odd to actually reach the day.

But it's only two weeks.

I've never gone two weeks without speaking to him. No letters, no emails, no phone. Wow, gotta love technology, huh? I'm not too worried though because I've programmed my mind to think that, while it is two weeks, it's only two weeks. After those two weeks are done Brandon gets his phone back, and then after that he'll be home within the week. That's a cheery thought to keep in my mind!

The last time I went a long period without hearing his voice was in the summer of 2007. We had just been engaged and he was sent off to LDAC (the course they need to do between junior and senior year of ROTC) for a month. He was in the field for ten days. I laugh when I think back to those 33 days we spent apart. I was so heartbroken! It was the first time we ever spent a long amount of time apart (except for our first summer dating when we lived 100 miles apart, but I don't count that because we weren't as attached then). But I laugh at 33 days because after that I went 6 weeks, 7 weeks, and 8 weeks.

8 weeks is the longest so we'll see how I do during this deployment, huh?

Anyway, what I've learned is everything is surmountable. Sometimes time feels so slow but time continues on, second by second, minute by minute, etc. I take something from the Bible... "This too shall pass" and tell myself that if I'm feeling particularly depressed, because it's true, right? Everything passes. Everything has it's season. (Oh, I feel poetic all of a sudden! Haha.)

I can do two weeks. It feels like I can. Maybe check back with me in a week... but for right now, Bring It On!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Dentist Loves Me

Nothing better for an Aries than to inflate her ego!

I've started to love going to the dentist because of the compliments they give me. Well, they give my teeth. They tell me I have wonderful teeth, Superhero teeth (heard that one today), and are amazed that I only brush them once a day and don't ever floss and have never had braces. Yep.

I guess I should thank my mom (thanks Mom!) for my beautiful teeth. She brought us to the dentist a lot and got us some sealants to keep them protected. Oh, and the genes help a bit too.

Anyway, today was a good dentist day. I had a guy hygienist for the first time, like, ever. He was funny though. He tried tirelessly to convince me to floss but I told him I'm not doing it. I'm superstitious and stuck in my ways. My only complaint were some sensitive teeth but they couldn't see anything wrong so they suggested Sensodyne. Sounds good to me!

It was a good dentist visit. My ego is inflated for the next 6 months. ;)

Better Day

Today is a better day, weather wise. Lately it's been cold (yes, cold. I don't care what anyone says, it gets cold here. Mid-60's is cold for Hawaii, especially when you add in the humidity, which makes it colder) and rainy. The rain isn't too bad but it kind of disrupts my day with Dexter, since we spend most of the daylight outside running around! Ok, he's running, I'm writing or reading or chilling. ;) It's also been super duper windy, like Colorado windy. That's pretty intense for here!

Anyway, today is a better day. The sun is actually out, I see blue skies, and the wind isn't as ferocious as it was before. It's still fairly windy but it feels nice. Maybe because I worked out today? I decided to do a spin class. It wasn't as bad as I remembered it though there were times where my legs were burning bad and my butt hurt! (Those seats are hard!) I came out of it feeling energized and ready to do more!

Came home, had a shower, and now I'm here on my stoop about to get down to editing. I was having trouble editing before but I think it's because I didn't have a daily goal. I found out I'm goal driven. I wrote well when I had my goal of 1500 words. Now I'm editing well when my goal right now is two chapters a day. Easy enough! Some chapters are shorter (what a relief and surprise) and some are longer (slavery!). It's fun though. I'm feeling better about my novel.

So Brandon has been having a long break and he's been enjoying it. Sleeping, resting, walking, talking, shopping, eating... that's the life! Everything kicks into gear Friday when he gives up his phone and he gets to work. We won't have any communication for two weeks. Eep! Oh well, I'll be blogging lots during that time, I'm sure!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Didn't go as planned...

...but that's ok! Tonight I hosted a potluck. I invited 4 friends (like my only friends here...) and the theme was "Hometown." Basically bring something that's close to your family, home, etc. I planned on making some bison chili but the commissary was totally out of ground bison! Of course. So I settled with regular chili. I also made some poutine (with real cheese kurds!) and some brownies, just because I wanted them, hehe.

Then one friend never RSVP'd and the other got sick so she couldn't come. I only had two people coming over. I was so afraid it was going to be a disaster but it really wasn't that bad. We had some cheese fondue and potatoes and sweet tea to add to the mix. It was good! Then we chatted for a bit and played some Scrabble. It was a good night, regardless of the issues.

Poor Brandon isn't feeling well. He's been hit by a horrible cold and sounds so bad on the phone. His voice is gratty and low and nasally. He constantly sounds tired and worn out. I feel so bad for him but there's nothing I can do, which sucks even more. All I can do is command him to go to the doctor's and get some medicine. On top of that some guy in his platoon lost some important equipment and because Brandon's in charge of him, he's getting in trouble. They can't find the equipment anywhere and the pressure is on. Brandon is not feeling good!

Everything else is ok here. I'm tired but don't feel like sleeping. Maybe I'll try to sleep... I dunno. I could take a bath but I feel hot already! What can I do? lol.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Hate My Feet

Truly, deeply, I do. It's been a battle I've been fighting for how many years? Since I was a Sophomore in college so... wow, this past February marked 3 years since it really started, but it's been over 3 years since I've been battling my feet.

Let's review. First it started with some foot pain but nothing extreme. Then in February 2007 I got a stress fracture. Once that healed my plantar fasciitis really kicked in causing immense pain. Podiatry, physical therapy, almost getting kicked out of ROTC but not. Then December 2007 I had a cast on my right foot for 3 weeks, hoping to stabilize my foot. Nothing. More pain, more heartache. Surgery on my left foot in April 2008, then surgery on my right food July 2008. Pain, more pain, then feeling so much better! Then suddenly it hits me again once it's healed completely. Of course. May 2009, medically dropped from ROTC, graduate, move, feel happy, problems behind me.


I'm ok with not running. Sometimes I want to run but it's ok, I don't need to. I can bike, hike, walk, etc. As I said before I started fitness classes. Today I couldn't last 15 minutes in a step class. From exhaustion? No, from burning pain in my feet. I stopped and walked around for a bit, feeling kind of embarrassed. The pain didn't go away so I packed up my stuff in front of everyone and left. When I was doing the kickboxing my feet were hurting. During Yoga it wasn't too bad but mostly because I wasn't moving. When I do Wii Active, my feet hurt!

They've been hurting in the morning when I get up. I spent a couple weeks where I could hardly walk or go down the stairs because of them. I can't wear flip flops anymore because they hurt.

I'm tired of it! I don't want to be 40, 50, 60, hardly able to walk and keep up with people. I don't know what's left to do though. I'm trying to get another appointment to a podiatrist because maybe my last doctor missed something (he said he might've, he was as stumped as I was before I left). It's just frustrating, you know? All I can do to workout is bike. That's fun but I want variety. I want to do whatever everyone else does. I don't want to solely rely on spin classes to get me sweating... Frustrating.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What's going on?

Hey! My life has been going good so far. Brandon has been gone for two weeks but it's flown by thanks to keeping busy and having some friends around. Every day it seems I see one of my friends, whether it's at the dog beach or walking or shopping. We watch movies together too! It's just been great.

I started some fitness classes this week. I did Yoga on Monday - ouch! I haven't done it in so long my muscles were not happy! Then I did some Cardio Kickboxing on Wednesday. That was super fun though I'm feeling it today. My back hurts from twisting so much! I was going to go to spin class today but with my hurt back I dunno if I want to. I need to ease myself into working out... lol. Tomorrow I might go do a step class in the morning. I'll tell you how it goes.

My cat has been... well, he's a cat, so he's pissing me off. I can't do anything but spray him with water. Dexter's been depressed because it's been raining the last few days and he hasn't gotten his time outside. I've been leaving him out of his crate a lot lately to see how he does when I leave. He does so well! No chewing, peeing, pooping or anything. I'm proud of him. :)

Well, I should go eat some lunch. I'm hungry!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

That's how much, you say?

Getting Dexter neutered is turning into a money fiasco. I decided to do the "Neuter Now" program they have here - you pay $50, get a certificate, go to one of the clinics that accepts it and get him neutered. Easy enough, right? I chose a clinic that looked clean and was close-by. The first appointment was great, I met the vet, she's awesome! Then she says he needs to get the kennel cough vaccine before getting neutered because it's policy. I say ok, shoot him up, whatever. When I go to the front desk to pay it's $70. What? Well, too late now, I pay.

Today I go again, get the second shot, so I'm expecting $70 again. He has to get blood work done so he's healthy and I didn't figure about paying for that. At the front desk again and she says $127. What? Is it rude to say "Hole crap, that's expensive" to the receptionist? Because I did. Well, too late now, I pay.

It's just turning out to be MUCH more expensive than I had anticipated. I know I shouldn't be surprised about having a puppy but I've gotten used to stuff on-post where you can get a bunch of shots for real cheap. I know I should've just gotten the kennel cough on-post but I didn't think of it. How could the prices be so different, I thought? I shouldn't be so naive! This pup better get star treatment...

Other news... starting fitness classes again! I did yoga for the first time in months and months. It hurt but felt good! Tomorrow is cardio kickboxing or spin class. Decisions decisions...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Goodbye February, Hello March!

Last March I remember I was depressed and right about now flying to Georgia for a one week vacation with Brandon. Then we spent two weeks apart and I went back for Spring Break, for a week. Wow! Look at us now, we're in Hawaii (well, I guess Brandon is in California now...). Time flies? It doesn't even seem like it was that long ago that we were separated - him in Georgia, me in Colorado. Of course, this month we won't be able to see each other at all, and hardly even hear each other's voices... it's the life I've chosen!

Some updates: I'm starting a new blog called "The Organic Diary" about my adventures as a modern eater who is trying to switch to all organic food. I think it'll be pretty cool! Of course, I'm keeping this blog for my regular personal updates. Oh, and don't forget to check out my website for my writing updates! (One will be coming today).

Winston is annoying me, Dexter barks too much, I'm hungry, but life is good. I need to eat and then go shopping real fast before I start any real work today. It'll be an easy day, I've been so busy with social engagements that I need a day of not going out! Haha. I've been able to talk to Brandon a lot lately, poor guy is sick, so I've been happy.

I think I'm going to go eat breakfast now!