Quick Update

A few weeks ago Lance received his pilot wings- officially making him an Air Force pilot! It was great to have my dad, his parents, and Cathy & Chad in town to celebrate, and the base did a surprisingly nice job at making the event nice (they do perform graduations every 3 weeks- so a whole lot of sincerity and romance was not expected!).  

We're hoping to take a trip for a few weeks starting tomorrow, keeping mum on details in case everything falls through getting last minute leave.  I will say that its sort of a delayed honeymoon, and definitely not to the beach! With Lance gone in Florida for water survival this week, I spent a lot of time planning and making (refundable) reservations.

As always, there's a photo gallery to the right of this screen- things are a little hectic pulling things together right now so I don't have time to download photos, but I frequently take pictures on my phone that will show up there!


The Reaping

Last Friday was the Friday we've been waiting for for what seems like forever- the day Lance got his assignment.  We're so so so happy and excited to say that we'll be moving to Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, and that Lance will be flying his dream plane, the C-17 Globemaster III. 

Before I get into all of my excitement, I'll give a brief rundown of the actual assignment night.  A ton of people showed up for our class' assignments, the largest swarms of green flightsuits were spotted around the room-temperature pizza. After showing the class' noble attempt at making a funny video, each student is asked up to the front of the room, while a funny quip that their classmates wrote is read about them by their flight commanders- who obviously censored some of the more colorful stories!  The projector then displays 3 labeled photos of various aircraft, which are then eliminated one by one until the final plane remains. 

When we ranked our planes and bases a few weeks ago it was clear that this would be a good assignment night, meaning there were a lot of cool planes going to a lot of great bases.  By the end of it all it seems to be acknowledged that this was the best assignment night in a long time! While most classes usually get 1 fighter, ours got 3, and the rest of the planes were all on the cooler end of the spectrum- we would have been happy with a lot of the other assignments, but were even more fortunate to get our first choice.

I'm beyond excited to be going back to the West coast, (best coast), to an area where 'fine dining' does not mean Chili's, there's a Nordstrom, 'seafood' does not just mean catfish,  hiking won't first require a 2 hour drive, and its a place that's just plain nice to look at!  I'm optimistic about the job market there, happy that my family is just a short, and usually cheap, plane ride away.  Its imminent that Lance will deploy early in our stay there, and I'm happy to be in a place full of diversions for when that happens.

I'm anxious to start prepping to leave Enid, but alas, we don't have any dates or orders yet- its more that likely that we'll face another Oklahoma summer, as C-17 training takes place at Altus AFB in southern Oklahoma.  Apparently its a pretty chill training program, we've heard 5 hour days only 4 days a week.  Hopefully we'll also get a few trips in before going down there.


What's Good?

Obviously, with it being Good Friday, it would be a little trite of me to write a post complaining about the trivial misgivings of my life in Enid.  Truthfully, with change in the wind I've been feeling a little sad and even scared to be leaving, because the good here far outweighs the bad. Here are some good things I'll miss about Enid/Vance:

FRIENDS! We've both been beyond fortunate in the friends that we've found here.  Whether its a good laugh, joking about Eniods, or an in depth discussion about Harry Potter, they've really what has made our experience in Enid a good one.

Barbeque- oh, sorry, did you think this was going all be thoughtful and meditative things? Because even if you did, you're in luck- we've started taking our BBQ very seriously! I'm definitely an amateur connoisseur, but boy to I like learning!

Our Church- We've been attending St. Gregory's Catholic Church, and though I can't say we've been especially involved, its such a sweet little community that I think has a really good focus and grasp on what it means to be a good, loving, and tolerant Christian person.

Pilot Training, At the beginning of pilot training there's a bunch of hoohah to students and wives about this being the most difficult year of their lives, and how you'll basically only see you husband for a few hours on Saturday if he isn't flying.  For us at least, this has been total baloney! While it hasn't been all easy, and has at times been very stressful, I can't say that it has been overly trying.  Lance deserves all the credit for this, he's great at getting what needs to be done completed in the flight room, and carves out room to hang out with me every day, and we usually have plenty of time for fun on the weekends. 

There's a bunch of other little things that have been giving me little pangs of sadness when I realize we'll be leaving, like the nice guy at the deli counter at the commissary, the cool movie theater in Kingfisher, the hot dog store, and the man on Broadway that walks his 5 pugs everyday at 4.  I'm starting to get really excited though, to get to discover the new quirks and gems in a few new places this year and next!


Bringing Sexy Back

Today while shelving books at the library, a dirty looking man with a shirt with a picture of a squirrel saying 'I'm bringing sexy back' on it, rounded the corner, stared right at me and said "Oh. There you are."  He then came right up to me and asked "Do you know where the books on demon possession are? Like, finding out if you are possessed by a demon?". I managed to calmly direct him to the non-fiction section.  After looking around to see if I was on a hidden camera show, I remembered that NOPE I JUST LIVE IN ENID.


The Rodeo

Last weekend Lance and I spent a day with friends at the Lazy-E Arena in Guthrie to take in our first rodeo! I wore a flannel plaid shirt to commemorate the event, Lance could not be convinced to match me, unfortunately.  My urge is to say that the rodeo was not what I was expecting, because I'm not sure quite what I was expecting.  Did I really think cowboys on horses simply and gently roped a calf and then ushered it from the arena, taking care not to jerk on its precious baby cow neck?  My shrieks at the sight of the cows being yanked off their feet suggest that yes, I was indeed quite naive.  My favorite event was 'steer wrestling', where the cowboy and a partner sandwich a calf in between their charging horses, only for the cowboy to then LEAP from his horse, onto the cow to wrestle it to the ground.  I'd like to add that these cows have horns!

A photo of aforementioned leaping
After the rodeo we feasted on some good ole' burgers n' pop at Pop's on Route 66, the burgers were decent, the onion rings better, and the soda bottles we picked up have been fun to try out! Whenever we have the chance to try out new or weird sodas, we are definitely up for the task- we'll definitely be picking some more soda up the next time we're nearby!

I mentioned in my last post how Lance and I are starting to really process how close we are to finding out what adventure is in store for us next.  Neither of us seem to be good at this waiting game (is anyone, really?)- but its safe to say that we're obviously projecting this anxiousness onto other aspects of our lives.  For Lance, this has included fastidiously researching fireproof safes, lock boxes, and possible investment opportunities.  For my part, I'd have to say the house has rarely been cleaner, and I spent most of yesterday compiling a-more-than-comprehensive tornado/emergency survival kit containing waterproofed papers with our respective medical histories and contact information for pretty much everyone we know. I also tested several parts of our house for their accessibility, comfort, and safety in case of emergency.  The fact that we are crazy is not lost on us, but admittedly it feels nice to exact some sort of control on the parts of our lives that we can control!


Eye of the Storm

Well, its been a hectic last week and a half! We ended up moving into another apartment in our same complex; Thursday and Friday were filled with what must be close to a million trips back and forth between our two places, and on Saturday morning we blessedly had the help of a few friends in moving some of our bigger items.  Patricia was flying in on Saturday night, so it was a mad dash to get things looking halfway liveable (can't have her going home to tell my mom we live like hobos!). 

Patricia's visit was a whirlwind, I wish we had more time to visit a few different places.  We did make it to Oklahoma City to 'Stockyard City'- near the world's largest stockyards- why this is laudable is beyond me, but I suppose beggars can't be choosers.  There were a few western themed shops there that were fun to poke around, and we had lunch/dinner at Cattlemen's Steakhouse.  No, not the same Cattlemen's chain found in California! We all agreed our food was only mediocre, not worth the trip or the price, and the situation only deteriorated after we left the restaurant only to see a truck full of young cows being brought to the yards for slaughter.  Apparently people enjoy the notion of eating super fresh beef, but honestly I think that the whole setup was sickening and was thereby reduced to tears!

After Patricia's departure, the remainder of the week found Lance preparing for his nav-checkride, what is generally acknowledged to be the beginning of the end of pilot training, and me trying to sort out the house.  I suppose going through this mini-move is good preparation for the imminent moves these next few months are set to bring.  Lance passed his nav-check, and it seems to have served as the greenlight for us to really start processing that we're nearing the end of the program and to begin entertaining the potential possibilities for what can happen next (always accompanied by a hasty knock-on-wood- gotta love superstitious pilots...er, pilots-to-be--KNOCK ON WOOD!)

Despite the business of the last month, I've still struggled with not having a solid job.  Occasional substitute gigs and volunteering at the library have kept me decently occupied when not moving or entertaining, but I'm looking forward to a fresh start somewhere new.  On the flip side, I've also come to see that some of my attitudes towards my situation have been a little selfish.  Lance successfully finishing pilot training is the big goal in both of our lives for the time being, and I'm thankful that I get to be around enough to support him through it.


IDK My BFF Sarah?!

I'm gonna catch this blog up real quick, because things are about to get a little crazy up in our house, and I wouldn't want to go on without detailing the awesome visit I had with my best friend, Sarah! Unbeknownst to me, she and Lance planned for her to surprise me here in Oklahoma.  When Lance came home with a bouquet of flowers, my suspicions were piqued, but nothing could have prepared me to then find Sarah standing in the doorway!  Clearly, the two of them are permanently made "Best Husband" and "Best Friend", respectively.

Between going to different high schools, Sarah's studying abroad in Italy, and then on to different colleges- its been a very long time since we've had a good chunk of time to catch up properly and just hang out since for years its been last minute coffees, BART trips, lunches, and oddly timed phone calls.  However, I'd be lying if I didn't say I had a mini-panic attack at finding out I needed to entertain my worldly friend in the middle of nowhere for 8 days!

We more than made do though; remember that art museum that was tragically closed when Lance and I wanted to visit? Sarah and I finally visited (and Lance escaped what were surely torturous hours of cultural musings).  We went to Oklahoma city and maybe/probably saw Toby Keith, we did art projects, went antiquing, and learned about the Chisholm Trail at a curiously detailed museum in Kingfisher.

Lance took us out to the airstrip to look at the planes, it was the first time I got to see his new aircraft, the T-1.  It was not as big as I thought it was, I couldn't imagine having to sit in it for 4 hours at a time!  Sarah's visit was well timed because, in addition to still being very busy with flights in general, Lance also went on another cross-country overnight flight.
I really can't get over how lucky I am for all of the great people in my life that care about me so much- as good a person as I try to be, nothing I can do can compare to the awesomeness of them!

...and now for something completely different...

As grateful as I am for my friends and family- one thing that I am NOT grateful for is the leaky mess of our apartment (ok, fine, I'm thankful to have a roof over my head- I would just rather it not torrentially leak through our kitchen lights, electrical outlets and cabinets).   This is not the first mention of its yuckiness in this blog, but it will be the last- we are moving.

On base housing requires a 6 month retainer, and since we don't want to risk indicating that we want to FAIP and then being stuck here for the long haul, we are remaining off base and in the same complex.  Wary as I am of the management and maintenance, the apartment we are moving to was our friend's old one, and doesn't have a history of problems like ours.  Its risky, but at least we avoid moving and storage fees that would have come with moving somewhere further and inevitably smaller.

In all fairness, I'm really only writing this because I'm housebound waiting to get the keys and the greenlight so I can start moving.  Hopefully the bulk of little things can be moved today and tomorrow, because my sister Patricia is coming to visit on Saturday!  Lance's class is having a fundraiser tomorrow, and he is preparing to have his 'nav-check' next week.  Supposedly things get a lot better and its into the home-stretch after that.