Saturday, July 16, 2011


I never really thought I'd miss the sight of handfuls of military gear and bags. When I see neighbors carrying that out to their car or inside their homes, I feel a twinge. When I see them walking it out to there cars I almost panic a little on the inside. My first thought is going away to a deployment. I know that there could be a million different reasons other than deployment that they could be carrying all of that. I guess my anxiety just gets the best of me, because I remember the last few days I spent with Chad. His gear spread out all over the living room, his list in his hand, and talking to himself to make sure he had everything. It's the opposite when I see them carrying it inside. I feel relieved. I think back to the times Chad came home from weeks away at training, or even just a week out in the field. How excited I was to have my husband home with me and Remi. I always think back to when they were suppose to spend the weekend out in the field. It ended up raining really bad, bad enough for them to get sent home. Chad walked in the door soaking wet and just dropped everything. He looked miserable, more the reason I was so glad he got to come home.

I know I can't live in the past. I will always have my memories to enjoy, and that will never stop. Sometimes all I can think about is how much easier life would be if he was still here. How less lonely I would feel at night and on the weekends. I've always been an independent person. I didn't mind being by myself, and I really became independent once I moved out to Cali. With Chad being gone and all, I learned how to stay busy and make the time pass. I guess it's different when you have somewhat of a countdown. My husband will be home in so many days.... I hate feeling sorry for myself. I hate people feeling sorry for me. It's just this whole lonely thing is getting a little old. That's why I am so excited for school. I will have something to take up my days, and hopefully meet some friends who aren't married. It's not that I don't like my married friends. I'm just no longer apart of that "married" group, and I need/want to be around people that are in the same place as I am.

Ok so I don't mind having some things just for myself. I just miss having someone to share things with ya know? Someone to come home to, someone too cook for, someone to watch movies with, and someone who use to bring gear home. I just want to have all of the things I use to share with Chad. I miss Chad. I miss having someone who knew every part of me. Someone I didn't have to worry about censoring with. Someone to care for and someone to care for me back. I feel so misplaced and insecure sometimes. I second guess myself all of the time. I second guess everything for that matter. I just want stability. I keep being told that I need to learn how to have that stability with myself. So then I worry myself trying to figure out what's wrong with me. Why can't I just be content with myself? Why can't I just figure out how to do that? Then another part of me says I shouldn't be so hard on myself. My husband just died.. and it's ok,normal, and expected to feel this way right? This is apart of it...A part I hope I can overcome and conquer.

I have hope. Hope that I wont be lonely forever or that I will learn how to be ok with myself. I can be ok with myself and still get lonely sometimes right? I mean, I'm only human.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not as important today..

This post isn't going to be about some deep thought I had today...just more so an update to all my friends and supporters. Stuff I really am excited about!

So for the past month or so I have been busy trying to get my life on track. I found a school I really like and I am excited and proud to say I start school August 2nd!!! I found an esthetician program that I can take. The school is only about 15-20 minutes away from my apartment. I've heard a lot of good things about this cosmetology school, and I am so ready to do something I have been talking about for a long time. For those of you who don't know what an esthetician is, it's skin care. Waxing, facials, and make up. I can't wait!! I think I am really going to like it and for the first time in a while, I genuinely feel good about something. I feel like I have goals and that my life will start to have more meaning than just being a widow. I'm proud of myself. 7 months after my husband was killed, I am taking control of my life, and I really think I am going in the right direction. I did it all by myself.. and I am proud of how independent I have become. I think Remi and I are going to be just fine. I feel so good about this.

Exciting update number 2!! My brother is coming for a visit! He will be here Sunday night for an entire week. This will be his first time to Cali and he's been wanting to come out for a visit ever since I have lived here. I know he's going to love it and will fit right in. Sometimes I think my brother would fit in more here than I do! I love California and I am happy and VERY grateful to have the chance to live here, but I really do feel like my brother is meant for a place like this. This was my graduation/birthday present to him. So whatever he wants to do or see while he's here, we will do it!! I want him to enjoy himself and have the time of his life. I am excited to show him my life and what I have been doing. What I see everyday and where my life has been for the past 2 years. Alex is the first person out of my family to come for a visit, and I can hardly wait!! I will be sure to post pictures after his visit.

My exciting update number 3 isn't that exciting. haha. But I am a blonde again. Yes, my hair makes me that happy. I haven't been blonde for a few years, even though it is my natural hair color. Chad always liked my hair dark so I left it that way for a while. I liked it to, but I was ready for a changed. I feel like "Katie" again. The blonde hair, blue-eyed, freckled face Katie. It's the Katie Chad met and deep down that's who I really am. Maybe I am looking to far into this hair thing...haha. I'm thinking too much, surprise surprise!

I really hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as I am. I'm anxious to get school started and make something out of myself. In 5 months, you can call me the skin lady. :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Not exactly what I planned on writing, but here it goes.

I've been spending a few hours at the pool these days. I love summer in California. Where the temperature is always just right. I could sit on my porch for hours at night. Summer nights are always so relaxing aren't they?

I usually bring a book or the Ipod with me to the pool. I let everything else around me kind of disappear. Pool time is probably one of the only times my head is clear. Then my anxiety starts to get the best of me. After about an hour of reading, I get antsy. Here's when I start to feel sorry for myself. Watching other couples or families splash around in the water. There's something so sweet and innocent when new parents are teaching their babies to kick there feet around in the water. I've always loved kids and couldn't wait for my own. I watched a couple today who had the cutest little baby girl with them. They were caught up in there own world. Showering her in kisses, and holding onto her tightly while she splashed around. I can't wait for that. I can't wait to have a family one day. I wanted a family with Chad. Chad would want me to still have a family one day. Surprisingly I smiled a lot at the pool today. Even though I ached for the summer days and nights I spent with Chad. I ached for the "That could've been us." I could clearly imagine me and Chad being that couple. I saw it all playing out in front of me, Chad and I splashing around with our own kids. I smiled a bittersweet smile..

I am alone now, yes. No one knows when or where, but one day I too will have a family. I'm slowly starting to see that I deserve that again. Chad would want that for me again. I want that for me again. I will always love and miss Chad. Always. He stole a piece of my heart that no one could ever replace. Whatever my future has in store for me, it by no means, means I love Chad any less. Or that I never loved him. The fact is that I can never have another Chad again. So that means even if I do marry someone else one day, that doesn't make the pain of losing Chad any less. I hope people can understand that. If they don't, that's ok. If they have never been in my shoes, I wont expect them to understand.

I don't expect it to be anytime soon, hell it might not happen for another 10 years!! Right now, I'm still working on myself. And as frustrating as it is sometimes, I have nothing to offer anyone until I am a fulfilled Katie again. I can still smile and trust that someday...I will love again. I can smile because Chad will be so happy for me that day. That man didn't care what it took, as long as it made me happy. There has never been a doubt in my mind that he would want me to be happy. It was just a matter of me getting to a place of accepting that. Chad will send me that person. He will give them his Ok before I ever meet them. This person will love me because of what I have been through. They will love me because of what I had with Chad and how this has all made me the person I am. It wont be baggage to them. It will just be another part of me and my story. I have forever changed the past 7 months. I will continue to change and grow. My heart has grown. It has grown for Chad and for everyone else around me that I love. This person is going to be so lucky, if I may say so myself. There's no doubt in my mind that I will love unconditionally. Love in ways I can't even imagine right now. All because of what Chad has shown me. In his life and his death. The standards are set I can promise you one thing. After having what I did with Chad, I will never settle. I would rather be alone the rest of my life, knowing what I had with Chad was real, rather than skimming through life from guy to guy, because it's easier not to be lonely. Only someone really special deserves me. I don't want a quick fix. It's like they say, it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

So I feel like I'm really going out on a limb with this post. I can already hear the judging voices...well guess what? I don't care. To any other widows out there, you know this is a touchy topic. Touchy or not, it's reality. And if ANYONE knows anything about reality, it's me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My very own Chadillac

My thought today started with that everyone closely involved knew a different Chad. That's just a part of life and being married. I'm having a "Chad" day and all I want is to share some of the Chad I knew.

Ha..just thinking about him makes me smile. I'm going to try not to cry while I write this. (Not making any promises though!) I just want this to be happy reminiscing night.

Oh and you're crazy fun-loving self! I loved his tattoos. On anyone else, I might question them. But on Chad, they fit him perfectly. I remember the first night we spent together, I remember seeing his "Tenn" tattoo. (Short for Tennessee). It was in cursive and the "T" looked like a "J." I asked, "Who's Jenn?" hahaha. He was VERY quick to correct me about what it was. I'm not going to lie, I was relieved he didn't has some other gals name on his arm. And ya know, his plan when he got back from deployment was to get either a tattoo of me "pin up style," or my lip prints on his other arm. I know he would've gotten a tattoo for me in a heartbeat. He had a total of 7 tattoos. They are burned into my brain and I loved every single one. The one he had on the inside of his wrists for his late cousin, "The World is Yours" is the same one I had tattooed on my foot. Tattoos not really your style? That's ok, there's plenty more to love about Chad.
His sweet smile. Chad hated his teeth. He got into a skating accident when he was younger, which ended up leaving him with some not so real teeth in the front. :) The night he left for Afghanistan, he actually chipped one of them on a flashlight. haha. He was so upset. "I'm going to Afghanistan looking like a hillbilly!" I couldn't even get him to fully smile for pictures after that. He was so excited when he got it fixed. Poor guy. Anyways, I loved his smile. Fake teeth and all! It had this almost sly way to it. I loved it just when he was about to laugh. Perfection. I loved how when we were alone, he craziest side came out. Not crazy as in mean, or weird. Just a very comfortable side. He'd always give me a little dance in his if trying to be sexy. hahaha. We always were doing some kind of weird dance. I remember one night we had to have ran around the house for an hour. Dancing, and jumping on the bed. Remi looooved it. He chased us everywhere. We were goofballs! maybe this isn't doing Chad any justice here. :) I promise, it was cute. Chad had a certain sense of style. Some days I swore he was worse than a girl when it came to his clothes. If it wasn't a t-shirt, jeans, and a baseball was a Polo shirt, matching flat billed hat(backwards), and his black or white Nike Shox. He was always weird about how his shirt touched his jeans in the back. They had to be touching! Poor guy didn't have a butt, so he always had to have a belt. Even if it wasn't holding up his jeans. He was always pulling them up.
Oh my goodness his laugh! Just hearing it made me laugh. I wish I could explain it in words. I will have to do it for you sometime! I remember us watching Wipeout. I use to give him so much crap because he ALWAYS laughed when someone got hurt. I use to tell him how mean that was to laugh. Well, I would end up laughing with him, just watching him laugh hysterically next to me on the couch.

He could never get mad at me. I could be furious and he would literally, look at me and laugh. "Babe, you seriously need to calm down." I don't think that man could ever sincerely be upset with me. As much as it aggravated me sometimes, I see now that he loved every part about me. Mad or happy. He never called me a mean name or said anything nasty. I love him for that. Even during fights, I could always count on him to be the calm one. I miss that calmness in my life.

I miss seeing him driving the truck. He loved his "Auntie Blackie." He barely ever let me drive. Looking back now, I don't regret not driving one time. Nothing beats seeing him laid back, one had on the steering wheel, singing along to the music. I loved how he danced while we were in the truck. He always did this thing with his arms...Something else I'd just have to show you.

Everyday after work, he'd walk in the door in his camis. Say hi to Remi, even while his attention was on getting to me first. Remi would get so excited when he heard his daddys truck pull up. He peed on Chads boots a few time out of excitement! haha. He would always kiss me. He always smelled a certain way. I can still smell it. The same almost stinky smell. He smelled the same every single day. No matter if he just sat around all day, or worked out really hard. I have noticed all Marines smell the same. Still, all I can think is, "Hey they smell like Chad..."

I could go on forever... I honestly didn't realize I had already written so much. I didn't cry! I actually giggled to myself a few times. I miss him so much. That's no secret. It's nice to miss him in a happy way, rather than a sad, crying myself to sleep way. The night is still young..nights are usually the hardest for me. I pray I fall asleep tonight with these thoughts in my head. Not all of the what ifs, and this isn't fair. I hope I dream good dreams tonight. If not, there's always a good chance tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Not your ordinary hero...

Today I came across a LOT of unread messages I have never seen before. They were all on Facebook, and were tucked away in a link I didn't even know existed. Thanks for that Facebook!! So I'm rushing to read and write back as much as I possibly can. Some were from several months ago! Anyways, I just wanted to say how much it warms my heart hearing from all of these people, who took the time out to send their kind words. Whether you still keep up with my blog or not. Or you only stopped by that one time, I want you to know it means the world to me. It's exactly what I needed today.

A lot of the times, people say the same thing. It has gotten so normal for me to receive messages like that all of the time. So maybe in ways it has become routine for me. Not to sound like a diva! Just kind people sending me their condolences. Today was different. I stopped and read every word and took it to heart as much as I could. I always hear how "inspiring and strong" I am. When honestly, I rarely feel that way. Others do...a lot of people feel as if I have impacted their lives, and think I am doing a good job. Some call me a hero. ME! I'm not in the military fighting for my country. I've never saved a persons life. I don't wear a cape and have special powers. And yet, some call me a hero. This makes me stop and smile. Even when I think I am doing the worst, people still see me as a strong person. Maybe I will see what all of you see one day. For my own sanity, I freaking hope so! Until then, I want you ALL to know I appreciate your uplifting words. Because even the days I don't take them to heart, they sit there in the back of my mind. It gives me hope for a better tomorrow.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July

I'm not going to lie, I'm not feeling especially happy about this holiday. Exactly 1 year ago, Chad and I spent it together. It is by far one of my favorite memories with Chad. We went to a military event on the beach. It was hot that day...but still cloudy. I will never forget watching Chad dance in front of the stage. I laughed so hard! We danced like we didn't have a care in the world. People were laughing, but I was still so proud to point and say, "Yes, that is my husband." haha. He had so much fun that day. We spent it with good friends. Friends that are no longer "good" anymore. Isn't it crazy where 1 year can take you? It's a bittersweet memory. It makes me smile and cry at the same time. It was our last together before he left for 4 weeks on training at Mojave Viper. Last 4th of July, we definitely went out with a bang. Here's my entry from exactly 1 year ago.

July 4th 2010

July 4th!!Since Chad was deployed for the last 4th, this was our first one spent together. It couldn't have been better and will definitely be one of my favorite memories. We didn't really have a plan to do anything until last minute. One of the beaches on base had a big "Beach Bash." There were thousands of people...THOUSANDS! They had live music, food, games, and fireworks. It was mostly just a bunch of drunk Marines, but it was still fun. We camped out our little spot on the beach in perfect view of the fireworks. A lot of our friends showed up. But Ashley and Zach were the only ones that stuck around with us until after the fireworks. Chad was cracking me up! I have never seen him dance like he did! We would walk up to the stage and dance like nobody was watching! We even got free Redbulls out of it! lol I love seeing him have a good time, he deserves it. Makes me smile. :) After the fireworks Chad, me , Ashley, and Zach had our own little dance party on the beach. Later Chad took me down to the water and told me how much he loved me and is going to miss me. He keeps apologizing about how he keeps leaving me, but I just remind him that I'd wait forever for him. And that's the truth. This lifestyle is hard, but just like I always say, I'd do anything for Chad. Anything.


Whether I see it everyday or not..I know its there. I know when everything seems to be falling apart, I still have myself. I still have hope. I still have a future. I will be happy again. I live for that happiness. Whether it will last me a lifetime, or a few minutes. It's always right around the corner. I fully believe there will be a time in my life when I am fulfilled again. I just have to keep hope that the journey I am being taken on, will just make me that much more thankful for it.