Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I have been reading PBJdreamer for about a month now and even though she is living her own special brand of Hell, she has dedicated Tuesdays at her place to finding happiness in the details. If anyone needs a Gratituesday tonight, it's me. My heart is still so heavy from reading Katie's blog...as I work my way back, I find I have to pause, take a breath, say a prayer, remember that as we say in the 352, she's GOT THIS! And know that God has her and Chad's entire family in His hands and the only thing I can do is check in, read their words, let the feelings come, and give the best support I can. I want to drive to Katie. I want to give her a hug and slip her sweet lil' 20-year old self something with tequila in it, and then stay up all night swapping stories about life in the military. But I'll stay put for now and let her know that I'm reading...as are you all. So...my first Gratituesday, with a nod to PBJdreamer goes something like this (she lists 10, so I'll do the same):

10. I spent the day fighting back the tears for Katie and her family. It felt like if you just scratched my surface, the floodgates would open. I took a moment to pop over to Katie's blog and check her comments section and found YOU ALL were leaving her love, support, and encouragement.

Being able to use my blog for good and not evil?
*by the way, you all ROCK and I want to thank each and every one of you for the words you left here, the ones you left for Katie, and the prayers that have been sent up. Just in the past 24 hours, I've had 240 page views of last night's post!!! You all are reading and you're telling your friends and you're spreading Katie's story. My cup overflows. Thank you for getting it out there.

9. Last night as I was shutting down the laptop, I knocked over my wine glass, spilling red wine all the way down my legs and all over the desk. I had barely drank any of it so it was everywhere.

Having reflexes that are faster than a puddle of wine inching toward my computer and the huge stack of D&E letterhead that has to be printed at FedEx?

8. Neal asked me this morning to look for his European adapter in the boxes he shipped back from Kuwait last time. His mini-Keurig finally arrived in country and he couldn't plug it directly into the wall. Of course, it was in the bottom tough box underneath 3 other tough boxes and I had to sit on it to get the lock to release. And then dig through uniforms, boots, and gear to find it.

Discovering that he kept every single letter, card, and note from me while he was in Kuwait?

7. My restlessness today could have resulted in hours upon hours of television viewing, probably in the form of "The Notebook" and "PS I Love You." Instead, I rearranged furniture and re-purposed baskets that I found in the shed while digging for the adapter.

Loving the new look that comes with redecorating?

6. I gave up all alcohol except red wine for Lent. This means that I've been sipping on a lot of Cabernet, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir. Tonight at Publix, I discovered Pomegranate Wine.

Exploring the seemingly endless array of red wines while still adhering to Lent?

5. Yesterday, I had to take the Pathfinder to address yet another maintenance issue. Apparently, 8 years of Kentucky winters is hard on a car. Specifically, the salt that they lay down with wild abandon. I took it to a place in town where 5 guys about my age all work doing something different...one guy does exhaust, one guy does kitchen renovations, one guy does auto body repair...you get the idea. At first I was a little skeeved out about the quality of work, but quickly saw it for what it was...5 guys doing what they love with the lowest overhead possible.

Checking my judgmental attitude at the door?

4. I picked up a couple of new followers after last night's post. One of them is Chad's mom. I started following her blog, Boyette Babble Time.

Adding a Fallen Marine's Mom into my network and reading the stories from a mom's perspective?

3. This afternoon, I got an email from UPS*. It was notifying me that my package would be delivered in 3-5 business days and had a tracking number attached. I opened the attachment because with our anniversary coming up in a couple of days, we have shipped packages to one another. I wanted that tracking number so I could stealthily follow it across the U.S. Suddenly, my computer crashed and a virus showed it's ugly, horned face. I slammed the laptop shut, packed it up, and rushed it all 911-like to the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Who told me it would be $200.

Being able to really belly-laugh for the first time in 2 days?
*Clearly, it was not really UPS. I hate hackers and my momma told me I should never "hate" anything.

2. I had passed a tiny, locally owned computer repair store on the way to Best Buy. I waltzed right out of that blue and yellow madness and drove my little space car to the one-man show down the street. A kind man with gentle eyes told me he would be happy to help (and did not at all make me feel like shiz for not installing any sort of anti-virus software). And it would not be $200.

Giving Neal's hard-earned money to the Mom n' Pop shops?

1. I am shoving food processors under the passenger seat and spatulas into the tire well. It all has to fit and get me through 3 months in Kentucky. The last boxes to be packed contain all of my beads, wire, and tools. It takes up a lot of space in the Prius.

Having a business (and a husband) that will let me work wherever and whenever I want to?

All of my love to each one of you for the comments, emails and texts over the past 24 hours. Please keep reading Katie's blog, give Tami a read, too, and continue to share the story of a Fallen Marine and the loved ones he leaves behind. These wars need a face and a name and Chad's is simply perfect. Our freedom is not free...truer words have never been spoken.


  1. Okay...Now I must go read about Katie...

    Loved your list :-)

  2. Way to keep a positive perspective when all you want to do is fall into a puddle of tears.
    You are my hero.
    Pomegranate Wine? Your Lent seems to be treating you much better than mine is me...
    And while I agree that redecorating is fun and rewarding, I think for me, a little Jeffery Dean Morgan (sans pants!) would win out.

  3. Make sure you email me your KY address, so I'll know where to send YOU stuff!!! (Just wanted to say that before I forgot!)

    Loved your list. Sorry about the virus - get some software on your computer!!! Not that that stops it all as I sadly found out, but it's something. I wonder if computer companies hire those jerks to destroy computers so you'll have to go out and buy new ones???

    I wish I could send more wine but they've really cracked down on that now and the penalties are SEVERE! So if you want more, you'll have to come on over!

    I hope you have a good trip, drive safely, call often and have lots of belly laughs!! Hugs!

  4. A. I love this gratitude post idea.
    B. There's nothing wrong with a little "PS I Love You" along with the token crying it will produce.
    C. I'm all about the belly-laughing!

  5. This was a great post. As was yesterdays. Too many tears so I couldn't comment but like many others I was reading. I got that same email sent to me but thought something was fishy so I deleted it. Those hackers and spammers prey on our curiosity! Glad the spilled wine never made it to you keyboard.

  6. Great post :) BTW, if you're interested, my new favorite red wine is LeBaron Ranch Petite Syrah. I found it on sale at the Beaumont Kroger liquor store a few weeks ago and have since returned to buy 3 more bottles. Be sure to use a wine aerator as you pour if you have one. Makes a HUGE difference in the flavor. Yum!

  7. I have to read about Katie slowly but surely. I am still harboring many a pregnancy/post preg hormone in my crazy little head so I have to proceed with caution with all things sad. These are all great. I'm glad you can find the humor in all these things because added up, this would be a big ol hissy fit for me. I need a big fat glass of gratituesday in the worst way! (the blue moon I had last night didn't cut it)

  8. I love the mom and pops! I'm so glad you didn't spill your red wine ON your laptop!

  9. WOW

    SO HAPPY SOMEONE ELSE is doing the Gratituesday!

    Love it so so much.

    Doing a Snoopy Happy Dance!

    Is that Neal's bed?

    When I write my list of things to be grateful for it improves my attitude for several days even.

    that is all

  10. Wonderful post, Ally. Now drive safely so we can have Friday Wine, too.

    Glad you saved the laptop, but you did not mention whether or not you licked up the wine?

    Oh, and did you know that the 'cats have a basketball game on Saturday night? Just wondering...

  11. What a great post! I love these posts...PBJ always has great ones too.
    Lots of people are definitely saying prayers for both you and Katie.

  12. You are seriously my inspiration. Because despite having the sads, you still found things to be grateful for. I am definitely going to be making a gratitude list for myself to remind me that sometimes I just need to shut up about the annoying stuff and be grateful for the good!

    Oh...and slowly back away from The Notebook and PS I Love You. Maybe stick with something like The Hangover for now.

  13. How is it that even when you're being funny the tears still manage to well up?! If I didn't know better I'd think it was PMS...might need to watch P.S. I love You tonight just to get the ugly cry I can't have at work out!

  14. I love your list, and the thoughts that go with it. Happy and safe traveling. Oh, and go cats.

  15. How did this post slip by me?! lol. I love the "Gratituesday" list! What a great idea!! And thank you for telling us about Katie's blog, I read it last nite and bawled my eyes out. Like you, I want to get in my car and go find her, and cry with her! (she lives in my town)The hardest parts for me were the posts while Chad was still alive, and how happy and in love they were, knowing what was coming; reading those, just broke my heart. She is so brave, I cant imagine going through that, let alone at so young an age. I am keeping her in my thoughts, along with you and your husband!

    Have a safe trip!

  16. Ally, this was precious! You made tears puddle in my eyes and then Boom Boom Pow! A smile and then laughter. You crack me up and one day not only would I love for you to meet Katie, but I would love to meet you in person as well. You are a doll and I think I just got another Bonus daughter and son. Boy, my Christmas list is continuing to grow. I better warn my Tebo. :) Thank you for your words of encouragement. Katie, myself, and our family can't take this journey alone so it's nice to have such amazing company. We are praying for you and Neal and my letter has been mailed!

  17. Okay, so I made it through Katie's entire blog...I'm ready to jump in the car with you to drive to her and hug her!

  18. I'm off to check her out now. Thank you for sharing her blog with us; you are awesome to pass on the bloggy love, girl. Wishing you all the best for a wonderful weekend (oh, and GO YOU for supporting the local mom and pop shops!). Sorry about the virus though, but hope it's all fixed!


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