An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
2009 was a year that had its ups and downs. It was the year I said goodbye to my husband (for eight months of the year) and it was the year I went through my first deployment as a Navy wife. It was a year of injury and a year of being in constant financial worry. But it was also the year I got engaged. And the year I married my fantastic husband. And the year I became a Navy Reserve officer. So I have mixed feelings about 2009. But, in all, I’d say it was a pretty good year. No one close to me died. I consider that a very good year.
2009 is also the end of a decade. Or so most seem to think. I’m not sure about you, but I count 1, 2, 3, … 9, 10. So wouldn’t that make 2010 the end of the decade? We had this discussion back in 2000 when the class of 2001 argued that THEY were the first class of the new millennium. No matter, I’ll follow like a sheep and recount my first decade in the new millennium too.
2000- This year saw me graduate from high school, become a camp counselor at a YMCA camp, take off on an international trip to the Dominican Republic with two friends and start college on the other side of the state.
Sadie with her teddy bear
2001- I got my first animal as an adult, my calico cat Sadie and become an RA at my college. 9-11 also happened and that’s when I first realized that the U.S. is not invincible.
2002- Honestly, I can’t really remember much of this year. I know that I was working full-time (two jobs) plus going to school full time. One of the jobs was as an animal demonstrator at a zoo… yeah, I got to play with the snakes, birds, opossum, and more!
2003- I turned 21 (which really isn’t a huge deal) and graduated from college after being there for just over three years.
2004- This year saw me get my first real-world job (and subsequently move an hour south of the college), become financially independent and adopt my second cat, Jake.
Skiing in Colorado
2005– This was a rough year for me. The worst in my life. In February, after a week of my dad being close to death in the hospital, making a miraculous recovery and being sent home by flabbergasted doctors, I found my dad dead outside from a heart attack. It was a very dark year. My mom, grandma and I spent Father’s Day in Colorado with my cousin to help avoid the holiday. I started a new job (which is where I work now) and used the money I received from my dad’s estate to put a down payment on my house.
2006- I can’t remember much about this year, either. I do know that for the first anniversary of my dad’s death, I headed by myself to Colorado to see my cousin again. We had a great time. I adopted my first dog, Chase the Greyhound. Four months later, I agreed to foster two Greyhound puppies and three months after that, I officially adopted Lulu (one of the puppies).
Chase and Lulu
2007- While recovering from a tonsillectomy, I met Huzzy, who I had been talking to online off and on for a few months (have I ever told you the story of how we met? If not, it’s funny).
2008- Continued to date Huzzy, he moved in and he got a fuzzy Great Pyrenees puppy called Skah. I also decided that I wanted to put together a package to try and receive a commission as a Navy Reserve Public Affairs Officer.
and that leaves us with 2009….
January: I found out I was recommended for commissioning by the Navy board that looked at my officer package.
First Navy function with Huzzy
February: Huzzy proposed to me on Friday, February 13. Yes, Friday the 13th. I think that makes Friday the 13th a lucky day from now on, instead of an ominous one. Right? Also, started planning the wedding… we only had five weeks to plan.
March: Huzzy and I were married on March 21st. The first day of Spring. For our “honeymoon” (which was really 3 days of house-hunting leave for you MilSpouse) we flew to Washington state. It was my first time visiting the gorgeous land that will eventually become my home.
April: Huzzy checked out of his recruiting command and started his 40+ days of leave. The movers came and packed up our entire house except what we figured we’d need to get by for a few months. How wrong that assumption would end up being.
May: Huzzy left to PCS to Washington. We had been married for seven weeks at the time. I slept on couch cushions surrounded by our three dogs and two cats. I started living with about 7 changes of clothes, one pot, one pan and one baking dish. It was this month that I also received my official letter that I was going to be commissioned.
Skah at 6 weeks
June: Raised my hand and swore to defend the Constitution of the United States and signed my life over to the military for eight years. Well, kinda, since I’m in the Reserves, but they have rights to me for eight years! Oh, and my mom brought me a twin mattress so I didn’t have to sleep on the couch cushions anymore. I continue to sleep on that on the floor. I started working a second job to make ends meet.
July: Stepped on a carpet staple on my second toe on my right foot and thought nothing of it. It didn’t even bleed. This started four months of hell. Flew to Washington to drill for the first time and to see Huzzy for the first time in weeks.
August: Spent two glorious weeks of vacation (with a drill weekend thrown in!) with Huzzy. We went whitewater rafting, too… a first for both of us. We thought this would be the last time we’d see each other before deployment. Toe was still injured and a pain–literally–to walk on. The Navy realized they screwed up Huzzy’s paycheck six months prior and decided to rectify it… by taking ALL of his pay for the entire month of September. Not fun.
March 21, 2009
September: Stopped working the second job because I couldn’t do another 57 day stretch where I got only 3 days off.
October: Drilled for the first time with my new (and current) unit. Surprisingly was able to see Huzzy one more time before he went on deployment. Finally got the toe taken care of. Apparently, my skin decided to go crazy and make extra scar tissue (from the pin-prick that never bled!). Had the extra scar tissue removed ala “cookie-cutter” method. Huge hole left. Nice scar now.
November: Went active duty for one week where I traveled to Rhode Island for the first time. Was immersed in deployment. Spent Thanksgiving without Huzzy. Didn’t get to talk to him for the last half of the month.
December: Spent Christmas without Huzzy and didn’t hear his voice for nearly the entire month. Spent New Year’s with a friend at a local hockey game… but was in bed before midnight!