Preparing for a weird spring

For those of you who haven’t heard, this is kind of the time everything changes for us, military-wise. Jake will be traveling on and off for the remainder of 2018, and I will be staying at home where I can immerse myself in work. I’m simultaneously preparing myself for intense loneliness while also feeling extremely grateful we have experience doing long-distance already. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that we can do this.

Even still, it’s going to be hard! I got a little weepy while he was packing and then kind of lost it when he finally left. I’m always a little caught off-guard by how emotional I get with the goodbyes. So I’m brainstorming a few more creative ways to stay sane and busy from now until he returns. (And, ok, I spent the day in pajamas and moped a little bit).

  1. Working out more. I’m a member at the Equinox in Bethesda, which is on my way to/from work and extremely close to my apartment. Since I won’t be rushing home for dinner together anymore or trying to cram in more time together before Jake leaves, I’m hoping to spend more time getting whipped into shape.
  2. Practicing my Spanish. For some reason, I am extremely shy and self-conscious about my Spanish and basically refuse to speak it in front of Jake who is a million times better. I’ll be re-downloading Duolingo for some out-loud conversation in the privacy of my empty home.
  3. Learning how to cook. I’ve been saying this for months — literally since the first time Jake left in January — but now I have no choice since the absences are only getting longer. I’ve purchased How To Cook Everything, Smitten Kitchen’s Triumphant and Unfussy cookbook (though the recipes in it are decidedly not unfussy), and bookmarked the New York Times Cooking website. Open to favorite recipes, if anyone has any!
  4. Checking things off my to-do list. Anyone who knows me has heard me evangelize Wunderlist. I have a running list — several, actually — of various errands I need to run, groceries I need to pick up, cards I need to mail, people I need to call, etc. Wunderlist helps me keep track of it all and feeds my compulsion to stay occupied.
  5. Enjoying the silver linings. Being away from your spouse sucks, full stop. But there are a few upsides to living alone, particularly when it’s only temporary. My favorites: having the queen bed to myself, feeling free to work late, eating on my own schedule, and catching up on my favorite trashy shows. Also, having time do a little extra freelance writing on the side. My latest piece all about being a sucker to trends is here.
  6. Spending time with friends! It sounds so cliche, but I really, really missed having girlfriends. The women I’ve become close with here are primarily military spouses, but also a couple of women through work and one or two that I knew from college. Feels like I’m finally finding my people, and it is a dream. I’m also relishing the opportunity to call friends in different cities and plan trips to see them.

For those of you in long-distance relationships, or for other military spouses, I’d love to hear about your guilty pleasures and indulgences that you take advantage of when your partner is out of town. I am also definitely here as a resource for anyone who has questions about Navy wife life, being in a long-distance relationship, etc.

As for me, I’m off to spend the evening running errands, followed by a face mask and some red wine. Cheers!

Spring Forward

So it’s been a few weird weeks in Bethesda. Lots of wonky weather changes — going from 70s to 30s and back again — and we are are currently bracing for the only snowstorm of the season, 8 days before the official start of spring. I, of course, am thrilled. I’ve really missed the evident change in seasons that I used to experience in New York and Connecticut, so here’s to hoping this blizzard satisfies my craving for a snow day. We even stocked up on slow cooker ingredients.

Otherwise, life has consisted of working through the first two months (only two months?! HOW) of a Trump administration, wedding-planning, and most recently hanging around the apartment with Jake while he recovers from PRK surgery. I’m not gonna lie, it was kind of nice to be tethered to our home during the latter half of his spring break, forced to spend some quality time together without laptop or TV screens. I’ve had to get out in the outdoor sun so that I don’t go totally stir crazy — thank you for providing a happy space, Equinox! — but I’ve also been forced to catch up on sleep and New York Magazine crossword puzzles. Win-win.

Other things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately:

  1. Wedding planning is hard. The major decisions are made, and we’re drawing nearer to the day, but man I am sick of making choices. It’s also been tough to do the majority of it without any family nearby. I just want it all to be organized and paid for so I can drown in excitement instead of my own anxiety. Thank goodness for Jake’s mom and our caterer, who have both kept me from losing my mind with questions. Has anyone else planned a wedding recently without the help of a wedding planner? What did you to do stay sane in the home stretch? How did you know you weren’t missing anything?
  2. This past week was the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I could talk about the show for days — Buffy’s under-appreciated role as a single mom, especially — but I’ll just leave you with this list of every episode, ranked, that I contributed to.
  3. We recently discovered the skirt steak fajitas at Uncle Julio’s Mexican restaurant. I know it’s a chain and it sounds like it’s just gonna be mediocre Mexican food, but please just trust me and order it if you can. The steak is like butter. I really love steak. (Speaking of which, Butcher’s Alley has expanded and is the best). My mouth is watering just writing about it.
  4. I’m learning to drive stick shift! I was forced on the road this week to drive Jake to and from his procedure at Walter Reed, and I only almost ruined the car a few times. (Just kidding, it was only one time). But now I’m so scared and stressed that I can’t bring myself to get back out there and do it again. Any recommendations?
  5. I was featured on The Lifestyle Edit just over a year ago. It has been such an unexpected whirlwind since then, and all I can say is that I am so grateful for every bizarre turn my life has taken.
  6. Listen to this.
  7. And, finally, I am recently in love with Lush’s Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter. It is soft and smooth and lasts forever and smells like lemons! My nail beds have never looked so healthy (which I realize is not a concern for most people, but I am a chronic picker). I bought a tub in Georgetown almost a month ago and am still only using the stuff that’s stuck to the lid. When I say, “a little bit goes a long way” with this stuff, I mean it. I think it’ll take me years to finish.

Anyway, PLEASE reach out with any final wedding-planning checklists if you have them, or just ping me with any thoughts about any of the above things. Or any things, really. I’m pretty open to chatting about nonsense.