Thursday, January 29, 2009

Afghanistan Address

Troy E-Mailed it to me this morning. Just like anything else, when I know anything- I'll post it.

SSGT Troy N. Gray
451 AEG/CE
Red Horse
APO AE 09355

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kick it in the Face!

When I got home from Utah, in December, I was a little depressed. Don't get me wrong, I was more than happy to come back to Las Vegas. BUT, it was hard coming back to an empty house with no family, and no little breather-break from Brayden. When we are in Vegas, I'm the sole parent. I don't have a family member close to where I can say "Can you take him for an hour please so I can have some sanity". However, I am blessed to have very good friends here- they know who they are- and they help me tremendously with Brayden and have become our family.

When we got back to Vegas and walked into our house, it felt as if a ton of bricks hit me. It instantly didn't feel like we were coming home, especially with two important family members missing. In that moment, I missed Troy more than ever. I looked at all his presents (that we couldn't ship over to him) and thought to myself 'He missed a good Christmas'. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm a military wife and this is a part of how life is for us. But I do get a free card to whine, just this once, that I miss him. Especially at Christmas.

I also missed our dog.. It still gets to me that she isn't here to greet us when we get home. I miss her wagging her little tail, and jumping up and down. She used to get so excited when she'd see us... almost as if she would do a little pee-pee dance. (Only way I can describe it). It was funny to see her wiggle like crazy-especially for such a large dog.

Soon after we got home, I started to think to myself "How do I change this?" How do I get Happier despite our crappy situation? And then I decided to change some things in my life to make it a little more busy. I enrolled in school, started teaching piano-to one student, started after school care-to one child (and Brayden obviously), joined Tuesday night bible study on base (boo-yah, they have free daycare!!), and have devoted myself to working out 5 days a week with Christie and the kids- total blessing to have a "Moms" room at the gym so our kids can play while we sweat to death on the elliptical. Its an added bonus that Dillon and Brayden get along so well. (Whoot Whoot!)

At the beginning of the deployment I thought that work would help... but now I honestly feel like I wasn't doing that FOR me (or to better myself) and I'm glad I quit. I was doing it because I 'thought' it'd make the time go by faster, but honestly I was so irate with old and rude military Tri-Care For Life/medicare people, that I could scream. My office manager felt the exact same way and bought a fake grenade with a number tag on it. It said "to make a complaint take a number." (TRICARE-FOR-LIFE'ers aka: TLF'ers as we call them-and yes we know the L and F are switched, it's funnier that way). Usually they would complain, and if they saw this maybe, just maybe they'd know we didn't care if we saw them in our office again.... For those who know what I'm talking about: Tri-Care For Life is a crappy insurance, and it is considered a secondary to Medicare- And we all know how 'AMAZING' that insurance is. (exaggeration).

I got so sick of listening to complaints like this:

"What do you mean it isn't free? Don't you know I'm a Veteran!"
"Why do YOU charge me a co-pay? I don't understand I have insurance."
"YOU just like to suck every dime outta me don't you! I'm on a fixed income."

Instead of TLF'ers saying polite things like this:

"My insurance blows and doesn't pay for squat!"
"I know, I WILL be paying my co-pay."
"I know that if I haven't met my deductible, this will apply to my deductible, and I will need to pay out of pocket. Here is my debit card, and not a check from a closed account."
"I know you can't make a magical genie appear out of now where and turn Medicare into an amazing insurance. So I will pay my co-pay without complaint!"
"It isn't YOUR fault. Medicare and Tri-Care For Life sucks."

Now that I spewed on that, he's something funny... about TLF'ers

Here's the most common non-insurance related question:
"What's an STD?"

(its on our 'CHECK HERE, if you have it, list')

Believe it or not, this question is asked by many TLF'ers. And its NEVER in private. They usually shout it in the middle of the waiting room full of patients. And yes, the patients waiting are all sorts of ages. Since TLF'ers are old, they must have no idea that STD stands for Sexual Transmitted Disease. Nor do they know why the doctor needs to know this. (The reason he needs to know is because many medications for these diseases effect your eye sight tremendously). Try telling someone, three-times your age, what an STD is!! And sometimes you'll even get one that says "What do you mean sexually transmitted? What's that? How do you get it.?" DUH!!!... Explaining that one is so much fun! It's like having an awkward conversation with a grandparent about condoms and how to use them. With you explaining! (And by the way, I'm very blessed with amazing grandparents and NEVER ever had a conversation like that. Thank goodness!) But seriously, where do these people come from? How can they NOT know about STD's and they live in America! It got to be draining having old people ask me about STD's and how you get them... and we were an EYE doctor's office for goodness sake! And what days did we see these amazing TLF'ers? Tuesdays and Thursdays, aka: the days I worked!!!!

I know I just babbled about my old job, but wasn't some of it funny?... Anyway back to my story....

So anyway, I think I'm making better use of my time, going to school, teaching piano, and working out. Its a heck of a lot more fun than getting annoying uninformed STD people at work. And I love, love, LOVE my photography class. I can't wait to start making silver prints for everyone!

I'm still trying to improve myself, and have failed miserably in this post since I talked bad about some people that have rotten insurance..... I mentioned earlier that I'm in bible study, but I rarely go to church. One reason is because last year, 2008, church was right in the middle of Brayden's nap. And now, Its bright and early at 9. I know I should go, but B is the last child on Earth that would sit still for anything. Even as a baby, he constantly tooted, burped, or grunted during the prayer (and the whole lessons basically). Any mommy's got any advice for me? And how to keep him occupied at church? I feel weird returning after so long, then having a crazy child to go along with it. I also think that while I'm there I would be so pre-occupied with him, that I wouldn't even be able to get 'fed'. But I love the people in our ward and miss going. Ugh..

So do any of you have any other advice to give, I'm all ears.... And I'm sorry for those of you who feel like they wasted 5 minutes of their life reading this post... sorry, but the cold hard truth is... you won't ever get those 5 minutes back... maybe I'll make you a brownie to make you feel better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January Update.

I noticed recently that I haven't done an update in a while, so here it goes...

-He is finally getting his missing teeth. They seem to be very painful, and lucky for both of us, it looks like all 4 holes are getting filled at once! (So much fun!)
-Can you believe that this little booger weighs nearly 28 pounds... one would think my arms would be toner from lifting him, but guess again.
-We have been crib free for over a month now and he is loving it! However, I think the crib was very convenient, and I'm sad its gone. I'm tempted to cry each time I see it in the garage... ugh..

-I started school again, and I'm taking photography, geography and a health and wellness class. I love the photography class already, its one of the last 'film' classes they'll be teaching. Film development is going to become a 'specialty' I guess. Its a shame because silver prints are amazing and should be used more.
-I started a new workout thing, lets see how long I can keep up with it. It kicked my butt yesterday. But my goal is to be tone and healthy for the summer. So annoy me and constantly ask me how its going.....
-I'm getting excited for the next two months to pass by, Troy will be home in about 75 days! Suddenly seems like the time is starting to fly by. (He may even be home in time for Easter!)

-He is in Afghanistan, and luckily doesn't have to move again due to his physical therapy (from an injury that happened earlier in the deployment).
-He's studying for the Tech. Not many people make it their first time, but he's studying like crazy... so who knows, it may be time for another promotion party.
-He's annoyed with my broken phone and wishes he could put a drill through it. I told him Brayden did enough damage.

Interesting things that happened recently:

Our family that lives in Hawaii moved back to Utah. I'm extremely happy about that because now they will be so close! But I'm a little sad because I wont have a reason to go to Hawaii every year.

Base lock down. I can't really explain why- especially on the internet. Lets just say we couldn't get back home for a few hours and had to go roam around Sam's Club with 4 children. My nephew, two nieces, Brayden, my sister-in-law and I went through a lot of pretzels, diet coke, and root beer. We were all a little freaked out while trying to be interested at looking at the big jars of food this 'super club' offered. Fortunately we got the all clear a few hours later and were able to go home.

Broken phone. The plug in Brayden's sippie cup came undone and water started to leak in my new coach bag. Sadly my phone was in there and the water flooded it! Luckily my new bag was unharmed. But my stupid phone is busted and wont stop vibrating. RRRR.

My lovely new bag that my amazing hunny told me to buy for myself for Christmas and our Anniversary. Thanks babe. And YES, it was on sale (70% off regular price). If it wasn't... there is no way I could have brought myself to spend the money.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Earlier this week Troy made it safely from Iraq to Kandahar, Afghanistan. His time there is unknown, nor will I post any information until it's "after the fact" if you catch my drift. Most likely he will stay there, but things are real tentative right now and may change at anytime. I should have a forwarding address for him soon. I wanted to thank everyone for your continued prayers and support. We are truly blessed to have the greatest friends and family anyone could ever ask for.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


By popular vote, here is the best picture of 2008!

(Brayden, Troy, and Melanie)

Happy New Year!