Friday, February 27, 2015

Deployment Diary

I wanted to share a bit of my deployment journal. While I didn't actually journal every single day- I was doing well the first few months, but soon couldn't keep up with everything else that I had to accomplish- I was able to account for and document every single day I was gone. 

I certainly wrote about the first day I left. My sister, her husband, and my parents dropped me off; I gave them a tour of the ship before waving goodbye. The cast-off from the pier was a somber moment, as it always is. We know we have to go; it's what we are called to do, but it's hard saying good-bye to those we love knowing that we won't see them in what feels like forever. 

Day #2 of deployment was just another normal day. We were headed where we were headed. Our first stop was actually uncertain. For July, I only ran 19 miles while on deployment, not counting the miles I had run before we left. I had two choices where I could run: the flight deck, if there were no flight operations, or the treadmill. I usually ran on the treadmill.

"Food Before Dudes". Scott saw that and sent it to me in an email, telling me that he saw it and thought of me. It was perfect! I printed it out and taped it to the 'bulkhead' (a.k.a. wall for you civilians) next to my desk. 

My first goal for deployment was to journal every day. My second goal was to earn certain qualifications. My third goal was to get back to eating healthy, which can be very challenging on a deployed vessel. But I did succeed at doing it for the most part. I'll share that with you all later! 

Day #25: I made it that far without being severely depressed or crying. There's no crying in the Navy! I jest. I remember being thankful for being alive and hoped that my loved ones back home were safe, happy, and healthy. 

I'll be sharing bits and pieces of my deployment journal throughout the next few months! 

I'd love to see your journals too! I'm kind of addicted! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Leo & Lily Cafe

I saw my parents and my sister and her husband for the first time since returning home. They seem to be one of the few who haven't changed without my permission while I've been away for almost 8 months. It's nice to come back to something familiar, even though I'm coming home a bit of a stranger to myself. 

I've missed my family and our monthly brunches. These were our moments to forget our differences, catch up with each others' lives, and just be together. I'm not the perfect daughter by any means, - I always have Scott across the table or next to me, reminding me-  but I cherish these moments with my mom and dad. My mom amazingly didn't mention having a baby- thank god, or I would have exploded, considering my emotional state at that moment- and my dad was his quiet, observant self, allowing shit to happen all around him and just making jokes and laughing about everything. Jackie and Paul made no mention of "my secret" in front of mom and dad, which I appreciated. It's not something they would even remotely comprehend. It was just another normal family get-together, with all the privately shared nuances passing between the daughters and their husbands, and mom and dad relishing the fleeting moments they have together with both their daughters and son-in-laws.

But why was I even here? Leo and Lily Cafe. Situated in Woodland Hills, a very nice city north of L.A., it boasts the trendy interior design of modern rustic and farm-to-table mentality. I fell in love with the menu and dessert counter, which is easily visible from any table inside the cafe. Outside seating is plentiful and probably preferred with southern California's warm weather, despite that day's promise of grey skies. I ordered an egg white veggie fritatta, while Scott opted for the eggs benedict. I didn't have a bite off of anything on his plate for once, but I did buy a box full of macaroons, of every flavor; I ate the espresso and pistachio and gave the rest to Jackie to figure out what to do with since she only wanted the salted caramel. 

I left that day feeling good about seeing them, but that we just didn't spend enough time together. At least there's next month's brunch, and I'm thinking an impromptu visit to L.A. might be in order.