Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Nonetheless, we headed down to dinner, where we met up with a lot of really fantastic people. We sat at a table with other couples, and just exchanged conversation about anything and everything. Things were really shaping up to seem not-so-bad! We played a few getting-to-know-you games, and then we were done for the night!
After that, most people parted ways, and some, like us, ended up at the hotel bar, and eventually left for a stroll on the beach. We knew that the schedule for the following days' activities began a bit early (breakfast at 7am!), so off to bed we went.
The following morning arrived far-too-quickly, but I couldn't help myself.
And as such, we began Day 1 of the Strong Bonds Retreat. The first session started at 9am. It was about coping with deployments, and life after a deployment. All-in-all, it was nice to hear that everyone shares similar emotions and concerns. It was at this point, that the lector had each of us write down one thing about our spouse that has changed since the deployment began. It took a minute for me to think, but I wrote down that I felt like Romeo has become more responsible and appreciative since he left for earthquake-land in January. Romeo said that he thought I was more independent.
Well... then, of course, the speaker circled the room searching for people to share what they had written down. No interest. She then dismissed the session for a short break. When we returned, she again asked for volunteers to share what they had written. Finally, there were people who were willing to speak. At first, the observations were all pretty positive. "He's more loving" "She's more understanding" "He's more patient with the children""She's a better cook".
Things began to get ugly.
I don't remember what comment it started with, but all of a sudden, the "changes" were not good. Even moreso, couples began, in a way, calling each other out IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THE ROOM! I whispered to Romeo asking if he felt that this was appropriate, and he said that if I stood up and called him out IN FRONT OF HIS PEERS, he'd be more than just a little upset. The microphone continued to go around the room, and the madness continued until finally, the speaker interveined.
The speaker seg-wayed into the next session, which, SURPRISE!! Was conflict resolution. Hmm... now how interesting could this get?
We went over a few techniques, all of which were valid, but not really realistic in a heated-argument setting. The speaker then was out to prove a point, so OH! Let's invite a couple to argue in front of this room full of people. BRILLIANT.
Much to my utmost surprise, and somewhat dismay, a couple ACTUALLY VOLUNTEERED. They pulled up two chairs in the center of this huge and completely populated conference room, and proceeded to duke it out. They started with finances, then led into their children, then into social habits, and into every little personal nook and canny of their relationship! They had officially just aired every piece of dirty laundry that they shared.
Oh good lord.
Now, let me make this known- I AM NO MODEL WIFE, to say the least, and my husband and I are VERY happy with our relationship, though I know it isn't perfect. BUT, to share the inner-workings of our love with a room full of other people who 1) are mostly strangers, but 2) are some of the people that the Soldiers in the room see every day at work, is a bit awkward!
Needless to say, the weekend had taken an interesting turn. After all of that madness, things settled down. We were dismissed for the day and were able to spend our time doing what we wanted. We went downtown to spend some quality time sightseeing. That night, when we got back to the resort, Romeo and I grabbed a couple drinks and hit the beach. We sat, just talking, and it was just wonderful. The day's events had provoked a lot of conversation, and it was nice to be able to discuss some things that we hadn't really thought to talk about before. The moonlight and the frozen drinks made the evening just that much more fun.
Sunday came, and was a lot more tame than the prior day. We talked about personalites, and the languages of love. Both of which turned out to be rather dry topics.
All-in-all, the weekend was a success. We spent a lot of quality time together, and got to relax a lot. Strong Bonds as a whole was informative, and definitely eye-opening. Romeo and I both agreed that we would participate again, and that it is absolutely a valuable resource of Army life.
For my fellow MilSpouses, if you get the opportunity, I would suggest participating in a weekend retreat. They're fun, informative, and FREE!! So why not?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This one is MY favorite.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Anyway, back to my being jealous and terribly envious of everyone else sitting in beach chairs, and me in an office chair....
Nonetheless, I am not. But, I have had some lovely evenings catching up on The Office with Romeo.
I really can't complain.
Thanks to my Momma for the lovely SIC pics.
Friday, July 2, 2010
- The night Romeo and I met, was just before the holidays. I was at a holiday party with friends, when I received an invite to another event that same evening. At first, I kind of disregarded it. I wasn't really up for going to party #2, but I casually mentioned it to a friend, and she wanted to go. So off we went.
- When we got to the second party, there was this guy (who happens to be Romeo), who at first glance, I immediately wrote off (shallow, I know). Tattoos, a flat-brimmed hat, partially sagging jeans, all-in-all, not my type. Spoiler alert!! Obviously, something must've happened to spark an interest!!
- During that night, Romeo and I talked a bit, but the things ended rather abruptly. We never exchanged numbers or information. I moreorless chalked it up to a loss. That is until coincidentally enough, there was going to be another get-together with the same crowd the following night. (Win!)
- The next night, Romeo was convinced that due to some conflicts the night prior, I wasn't entirely fond of him... Well, I was. After all of that drama was cleared up, we immediately exchanged information. Good thing, because shortly, and when I say shortly, I mean within seconds, that night also ended. Eek.
- The following day, after a few hundred text messages, and a whole lot of belly-butterflies, we met up again. Something was happening.
- Mind you, during all of this, Romeo was on the last few days of leave. He was set to head back to Fort Somewhere on the day after Christmas. We first met on 20 December. In my head, I'm thinking that this GI Joe was just interested in being friends for the last few days of his time at home. Guess I was wrong!!
- We met up the next night at a local place, we grabbed a few drinks and then snuck away from our friends for a few moments alone. We sat outside by a fire and talked. It was here that Romeo told me that he was interested in pursuing this new thing between us even after he headed back to Fort Somewhere. Though I thought in my head that he was just saying that, I felt in my heart that there was certainly something there.
- Following that, I met his family, and spent his last evening at home with him. Even though my heart was going a million miles a minute, I was still preparing myself to never hear from this guy again.
- I fought my feelings for awhile, but after a few more hours together (and some liquid courage) I gave in and flat-out just told Romeo how I felt. I thought that I was in love. And then I thought I scared him away completely. Little did I know...
- I didn't. The next morning, off he went on a plane to Fort Somewhere. The next evening, I had my first of many sweet voicemails. He missed me already =)
- So that's that. After 5 days together, Romeo had my heart, a whole ocean away, and fortunately for us, he held on to it until we could be together again.
- The next few months, we talked all of the time (which my cell phone bill surely reflected!) and turned our few days together into plans and a future. There were a few rough nights, but never once did either one of us feel anything but right. Even though some people thought we were being ridiculous in even pursuing a long-distance relationship after only knowing each other a short time, we proved them wrong and made it through.
- Sometime later, there was a big, sparkly ring on my finger, and in just a few months, we were at the end of the aisle saying with a big white dress and quite the audience.
So that is our story. A huge puzzle of moments and events that fit together to create our fairy tale.