Saturday, June 18, 2011

Into the Wild Blue Yonder...

Time for more answers to your bribe questions!

(This is where you pretend to be excited.)

For today, I've picked out the questions that center around the wild and crazy Air Force world. So prepare to be edjimacated.

And for those of you who are already in the AF world, prepare to be bored. 

Ah, the Air Force.
I can't get away from it.
I grew up as an Air Force brat, was on active duty myself for four years, and now I'm married to it for the foreseeable future.

The Air Force, that is.
Not my husband.
I'm married to him for the long haul ;)

So I guess you could say that I'm used to it. It's kind of like a security blanket for me.
I almost want to ask you guys what life is like...out there.

Life in here is a different kind of normal.
It's normal to plan pregnancies around deployments and moves, consider future homes before buying furniture that fits in your current one, and to have no idea where you might be living a year down the road.

In my opinion, Josh has a very cool job.
He doesn't know that I think this (or at least he didn't), because I consider it my job to keep his ego in check.

Cause if you did this for a living...

...and came home to this every night...

...you'd be thinking you were hot stuff, no?

Well, one out of two isn't so bad.

*body changed to protect the innocent Erin

The job is cool. It does not, however, come without sacrifice.

I had written a paragraph here about the amount of hours Josh works day after day, and week after week. But it sounded kind of whiny so I deleted it.
Can I just say that he works very hard, for very long, each and every day?
So long and hard, that if we didn't feel that what he does is important, then we would have pulled the plug on it long ago.
There are very few things that can justify the amount of time he spends away from his family, but protecting our freedom is one of them.

So that's the down side.
There is, of course, an up side.
The job security is comforting, the health care is a huge blessing.
Remember this kid?

Yeah, he's always had issues. And it's never cost us a thing.

There is a great deal of camaraderie in the fighter community. A feeling of not being in it alone.

And you all know the piece de resistance: The flight suit.

Oh, yeah.

 Now let's get to some questions. Sandy asked--

 i will give you an easy question and one that i already know the answer to...will josh take my husband flying in his F15E? the only reason that i ask is because every time he sees me reading your blog, he wants to know if i have asked yet...men and their toys!

Unfortunately Sandy, it would take an act of Congress.
And I mean that literally.
But tell your hubby not to feel too bad about it-- I sleep with the man and I can't get a ride either!
The closest I'll ever come is a taxi down the runway.

See me back there?

But given my fear of vomiting this is probably a good thing.

Megan W. asked:

Being a new Military Spouse, specifically a new pilots spouse- we are just starting the road of deployments, tdy's, long trainings, etc.
Here's my question: Was it a struggle at first handling deployments/tdy's even in your days pre-children? How do you do it? :)
I know I will figure it out, and I am absolutely up to the task since that's  "What I signed up to do" (That's what every person likes to tell me if I mention missing my husband), but it still doesn't make hubs being gone any easier!

(TDY= Temporary Duty, basically a short trip. Short is relative though, because can I just say that these current three weeks are c r a w l i n g  by!)

Well Megan, allow me to say on your behalf that those people are being naughty and mean and they need a good spanking!
We "signed up" to support our husbands, not to pretend that life's always peachy. Surround yourself with some supportive friends who will allow you to vent once in awhile!

Speaking of supporting our husbands, I consider myself to be a supportive wife. I make sure that we always have lean pockets and canned pineapples on hand for the many days that I forget to pack Josh a lunch.
And I wont even mention the tradition we have in place to help him relax the night before a check-ride.
(Mostly because I like to keep it PG around here, and my parents read this stuff.)
Let's just say I am a very supportive wife. 

Psst, Dad. It would be best if you just assume that I'm referring to a shoulder rub.

As far as the separations go...it's never easy. Kids or no kids. 
Things that help--
1) Grab your friends and your calendars. Arrange to eat together at least a couple times a week. That way, you have a reason to cook a good meal, you can enjoy each others company, and it makes the time go by so much faster for everyone.

2) Write out a list of projects that you'd like to get done. In the past mine have included: surviving, keeping the children alive, and cleaning out my closet.
(Two of the three were successful.)
For the upcoming deployment I'm considering taking a stab at learning another language, and also spending more time practicing guitar.
I am also considering going insane, but I'll have to see if I can make time for that before I commit.

3) Remember that it's okay to ask for help. Or hire it.
Our first deployment I was determined that I could do it all. I had a just-turned 3 year old and a 9 month old and for some reason (it rhymes with peep and starts with 'ch') I decided not to take my husband's advice to hire someone to do the lawn.
So after they were asleep at night, I would go out and mow & bag & moan & groan.
Good news! We've hired someone to do our lawn here. With the deployment approaching, I don't want to spend each weekend watching Josh through the window.
(Also: NC lawns are rather large, and we have a push mower.)

Moving on-- Mindee asked:
                        If you could actually pick your next place to be stationed, where would it be?

And Rachael asked a similar question-- 

OK... my question is actually a two parter:
1. Of all of the places you have lived, where is your favorite?
2. If you could move anywhere you wanted, where would you live?

These were tough.
I really and truly don't have a favorite place from where we've been stationed. They've each had their good points and bad, but what stands out more than the locations is the great friends I've made at each place. And I certainly can't choose from amongst my friends!
But I can say definitively that NONE of them have had a good mall. 

If I could choose where we go next...
This is even harder!
If I get to choose outside of scenarios that are actually possible, then let's get wild and crazy.
How about a tour in Hawaii? Yes, please.
I bet I'd get a lot of visitors during those years, don't you think?

But if I have to play within the rules-- The most likely next step for Josh when our time is done here will be for him to attend school.
(ACSC- Air Command and Staff College, I believe. The AF has several different schools that you either attend or do via correspondence as you advance in rank.)
The main school is located in Alabama, but there are also a few more exotic locations that "check the box" for this particular school. A few lucky folks get to essentially be foreign exchange students in another country's program (like Spain, England, etc.)
So if we're dreaming, I would choose to go do school in a location that would give us a chance to learn another language. 
Josh's first choice would be to get his school credit done at one of the more prestigious universities here in the States. One or two people a year get to go to either Harvard or Princeton for some type of degree program there. 
So there you have it. That's what we would like to do, but the odds are higher that when we leave here, we'll be heading south to good 'ol Alabamy for a year.
And that will be just fine, too.
One year is hardly worth unpacking all the boxes.

After that...who knows?
But unless you get sick of me, you're welcome to come along for the ride! 


Joyce said...

I've been traveling and missed the post asking for questions. I think keeping your sense of humor must help in living the military life and you've definitely got that one down. I was a military brat too.

If we get a vote I vote Princeton-its beautiful and right down the road from where I currently live : )

I'm Erin. said...

Oooh, Joyce. Could I come use your firepit? I'm a sucker for a roasted marshmallow ;)

Taylor said...

I think it is in my best interest to assume you mean a shoulder rub.

I kid! I jest!

Well, kind of.

Anonymous said...

Erin Nicole (spelled it correct)Those kind of favors do not make a check ride go any better Josh is just telling you that.

Love you Dad

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Oh c'mon - have some faith. You could be Europe or Ivy League bound in no time!

Sally said...

I think you and I might have the same tradition for helping our husbands on their check rides... they must brief them on that in flight training! ;-)

Sally said...

I think you and I might have the same tradition for helping our husbands on their check rides... they must brief them on that in flight training! ;-)