Sunday, February 28, 2010

Its been a few days

The last few days have been very busy. But they've been amazing! On Thursday and Friday I spent most of the day with my new friends :) it was really fun. I love actually having friends down here now. and yesterday I spent the whole day with my hubby! It was great.

Kendall's regular sergeant came back and now he gets the chance to actually phase up and stuff! I'm so excited because that means we will get to spend more time together!!! I can not wait!!!

Today I went grocery shopping :) It was fun I can't wait to cook things!! YAY!! Well now i'm off to find a new layout for my blog!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's about time

This post will finally have the pictures of my new house! i know... it's about time!

When my dad and I came down here we got connected with a church called Steven's Creek Church. We met the woman who works at the front desk and she talked to me all about the areas of town that I should live and stuff like that. She was really helpful. She also gave me her number and told me to call her in case I ever needed anything. Well, yesterday morning I had to take my car into the shop because It has been randomly dying the the middle of the road, dropping into neutral, and just overall acting up. So I called her and asked her where she would recommend I take my car. She told me to take it to Rusty's Automotive. luckily it's only about 2 miles from my house cause by the time I got there It was again dropping into neutral.

All this said, yesterday I was literally stuck at home, since that is the only car we have right now. But I got a lot accomplished during my time at home. I made some incredible banana cake!
I also spent a lot of time cleaning. I cleaned everything except the bathrooms (I'm gonna do those today) but I even cleaned out the window sills... and I sprayed the house for bugs for a second time. I really don't want to risk anything with bugs! I enjoy having a bug free house (although if any ladies want to pray their house on their own it's only $4 at the commissary as apposed to the $100 to call the bug guy. and it works. I found a ton of dead bugs yesterday). I also vacuumed and everything! My house feels incredible and I earned sitting on the couch last night! So overall it was a good afternoon. It was amazing how excited I was to have the house that clean. I was really wishing Kendall was coming home that night so that I could show him the house. oh well, I'll show him this weekend.

So today is Kendall's first day of classes! He finally got to start after 3 weeks of literally sitting around all day. He was really excited. I can't wait to hear all about it! He's in what's called first shift which means his classes go from after breakfast til around lunchtime or so. We aren't really sure the exact times. We'll know for sure this afternoon. But it's really exciting because that means he'll be done with his classes in 17 weeks and we'll get his orders to his duty station! I'm really excited and I know Kendall is too! I hope the next place we live is more interesting than Augusta. I'm pretty sure Augusta is more boring than Bloomington... that's pretty bad. ha

So here are the much awaited pictures of our first place! (Notice I took them AFTER I cleaned the house :) ).
Kendall and I in front of our first home.
our guest bathroom
our backyard
the master bathroom (quite messy I know...)
our bedroom. Right now i'm sleeping on an air mattress. although it's really comfy since I added a mattress cover to it. so i think we'll keep it a while.
the guest bedroom AKA: my art studio space. Right now I'm working on refinishing our kitchen table chairs.
Our living room.
Our dining area
our kitchen!
More of our kitchen!

I love our new place! It's been great! I can't wait til we get to our duty station and I get to actually live WITH my hubby!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wonderful day

I am having a wonderful day today and it's only 1:00 pm :) This morning I got up and went to lunch with my hubby in the chow hall! It was really nice to be able to see where he eats everyday and get some of his friends. I just had to go in and say I'm eating with my husband and pay like 4 bucks. And then it's just like eating in typical cafeteria. Although a lot of people kept staring at me cause I was probably the only person in there not in uniform. ha But overall it was really fun! I love getting to eat with my hubby.

This weekend Kendall got to come home on Sunday. We went on a walk cause it was like 70 degrees here this weekend. And we found this amazing park area right by my house with a really nice trail around a little pond. It was cool. I live in such an incredible location. I have walmart 20 sec from my house. the library within walking distance. that park. it's great!! I love our new place!

Well have a great day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

a day a little discoveries

Today has been a pretty good day. A very easy going day. Kendall had his wisdom teeth removed this morning and he's so lucky. NO PAIN YET. how crazy! I was like in throbbing pain when i got mine removed and he feels nothing. he's totally fine. I'm quite jealous. lol But on the plus side I get to really talk to him all day. which has been nice.
We discovered how to use the skype calling and video stuff tonight. And tomorrow we are buying him a webcam so I can see him too. Today I also discovered that i have to make sure to stock everything in my pantry. I'm so used to EVERYTHING being in my moms pantry so i forget that I don't have certain things. So today I went to make stuffed shells and realized I got everything except... the shells! i'm so used to them ALWAYS being in the pantry I simply forgot to buy them.
Guess I need to think more before making my shopping list next time. ha

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Incredible Article

This is an incredible article as lady posted online. it's from a soldier's blog and it's titled, "The top things Not to say to the spouse of a Deployed Soldier" Although my soldier isn't deployed yet, I think it's still valid about any spouse. So here you go (it's kind of long, but worth it):

Occasionally, Soldiers are complimented for their service. While recognition never fails to bring a smile, there is a group of much stronger, much more deserving individuals: Army Wives or military spouses.

The hardships that a military spouse endures are hard to imagine even to Soldiers. To sacrifice a year or more apart from their husband or wife, often cases the father or mother of their children, and take on all household responsibilities is a thankless task.

Occupied with executing combat missions and reacting on muscle memory, Soldiers reflect on what he or she is missing back home only during downtime. Although the spouse carries on, her life is never as busy that she forgets her husband. And in this sense, her job is tougher than her Soldier’s.

Army Wives are left with the responsibility of maintaining a home, a yard, a career, children, cars, pets, and every task that their Soldier used to handle. On top of that, the military spouse must worry that her Soldier is in danger and have faith that God will provide.

Those not in the military atmosphere try to offer support and empathy. Often times, these well-intended attempts are not well thought out. The following is a collection of such thoughts that are intended with consideration but come across as inconsiderate or oblivious at best.

My Army Wife, Devon Connaroe, compiled this “Top Things Not To Say To The Spouse of a Deployed Soldier” from fellow Soldiers’ wives. The following list of lines from family and friends are memorable, because they are particularly discomforting. In fact, they drive her into a world if isolation, believing that no one understands.

Five Army Wives, whom my wife has befriended during our last five years in the military, contributed to the list: Robyn Mroszczyk, Melissa Salmon, Sheena Jorgensen, Erin Wackerhagen and Rasheedah Stewart. Many of these sayings were not exclusive to one individual, but heard by multiple women.

Often, people may attempt to empathize with the situation by saying one of the following:

“I know how you feel. My husband was away for nearly a week on business last month.” Although, well intended, a short business trip is NOTHING like experiencing the weight of a deployment, which can last from six to fifteen months.

“I know how you feel, I was a single mom.”

The wife does stay alone and care for things, but a single mom does not have to worry about a husband being in danger.

“I understand what you are going through, I watch the show Army Wives.”

The show Army Wives is not a reality show; it is a TV drama that is meant to mimic what writers believe to be true.

People may offer what they believe to be a compliment:

“I don’t know how you do it.”

“I couldn’t deal if my husband left that long.”

Hearing this is not a compliment. The wife does not have a choice to “deal,” and, often times, they don’t know how they get through either; they just do it because they honor and love their husband.

Some try to offer support and look on the bright side of things concerning the deployment.

“Well you only have 9 months left. The rest is easy now.”

Having a portion of the deployment completed does not make the rest of the separation easier.

If he is in Iraq, “At least he is not in Afghanistan.” OR

If he is in Afghanistan, “At least he is not in Iraq.”

Regardless of his location for the deployment, he is still in danger and still separated from his family.

Often times, military spouses are asked questions with obvious answers. Would you prefer if she answers with a non-obvious answer?

“Do you miss him?”

“Are you excited he is coming home?”

“Are you scared he will die?”

On the off chance that the spouse has taken her mind off these thoughts, you have now changed that.

Others carelessly encourage, “But he’ll be home for Christmas, right?”

Military personnel do not get to leave their assigned deployment for Holidays. They are granted only two weeks of vacation to leave and visit their family. Only a fraction of them can visit home at any given time, including holidays.

Believe it or not, those close to military spouses will at times grow tired of their friend’s sorrow, saying:

“You knew what you signed up for when you married a soldier.”

“You knew that he would be deployed.”

Military spouses do not marry the military; they marry the man or woman that they love who happens to be in the military. No one can ever describe to you what the weight of a deployment is like or “what you are signing up for”.

At times, some people end conversations by saying, “If you ever need anyone to help you with something around the house, give me call,” without leaving a phone number.

Typically, a wife is not going to reach out for help, especially when the offer is half-hearted.

Finally, some people just do not think before they talk.

“I am glad my husband isn’t in the military, because he could die.”

Believe it or not, people who aren’t in the military still die.

Throughout a deployment, the spouse of a Soldier endures a great sacrifice. A script on how to converse with the spouse of a deployed Soldier does not exist. The right things to say are not lines stored on a pocket-sized notebook, which can be pulled out in the necessary moment. Upon meeting an Army Wife, you should not feel as though it is necessary to try to relate to her. Although you may feel it is socially necessary to comment on the Soldier’s absence, there is really no need to do so at all.

Support, encouragement and graciousness are appreciated. However, there is a key to interacting with the spouse: sincerity.

Be yourself. Be genuine. If you don’t know what to say, silence is acceptable.

If you pray, comfort the spouse by sending your prayers to the soldier and his family.

If you are grateful for the sacrifice, thank the husband or wife for what they are doing for your freedom.

If you want to help, be specific in what you are willing to offer, such as mowing the lawn. Empty offers are typically all encompassing. If you aren’t willing to rake leaves or bathe the dog, don’t say, “If you ever need anything, let me know.”

Be a friend. Show the spouse that you care about who she is, without defining her by the deployment.

In the end, it is the honesty and sincerity that means the most.

Good and Bad Day

Parts of today were incredible! but there was also a part of today that was terrible. I'll start with the bad so I can end on a good note :) (you can thank me later)

Today I was informed that the external hard-drive that every single picture I have ever taken is on is corrupt. Translation: I lost all my pictures... So now not only have I lost all the copies of so many memories, I have also lost my entire portfolio worth of images... That means I have to start my entire business all over again. Awesome. But hey, on the bright side, this portfolio will be even better than my last. :)

On to the happy! So today I made a mini trip to a state park here called Mistletoe State Park. it's about 30 min from my house. and It was great. i got some great pictures to kick off my new portfolio! (mind you, I took these images before I knew I'd officially lost my pictures) I'll post some of those pictures in a few days. I still have to edit them and such. (if you haven't noticed, i'm really bad at getting pictures up on here. usually a few days turns into a while. Fair warning). Another great thing about today is that I had a really relaxing evening! There is a library about 30 sec. from my house, so I went over there and got a few books and came home made a homemade chai latte and took a very bubbly, bubble bath. It was wonderful. and I got to talk to Kendall for a while. I love him being in AIT!

So tomorrow Kendall has to get his wisdom teeth pulled (Army rules) so he will be on bed rest for at least 2 days. With that being said, we are praying that at some point this weekend he will be able to come home. I'm not sure how all that works with the whole bed rest thing. We are also praying this doesn't affect his chances at phasing up. He is supposed to have a chance to phase up this week, but idk if he can take his pt test after the surgery. So we will have to wait and see, I guess. We'll just trust that God has a plan in all he does! He's proven that time and time again, so I know he will continue to provide for us. Well it's off to sleep for me!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trip to the Commissary

Today was my first trip to the commissary. It was the first time I went grocery shopping for our place on my own. It was really fun. I learned a few things while I was there:
1. You have to tip the bagger. I had been told that ahead of time so that was nice. But they do expect it, so make sure you have cash on you.
2. Make sure you have your I.D. out when you go through the line, because they will ask for it and you don't want to have to rummage through your purse for it.
3. The commissary has only food and items related to that (detergent and cleaning supplies are there too) but everything else is at the PX. So they have most things Walmart has, just in two stores.
4. Most things are a cheaper there. i don't know if everything is, but most things are!
5. Make sure as you are walking through the parking lot you are conscious of the reserved parking spots. They are the 5 (or so) closest spots and are reserved for those of high rank (i.e. generals) and as you walk by them watch for people parking there, just walk on the opposite side so that you give them room to park and aren't in their way. It's just an act of respect.

Altogether, my trip was a pretty good one. I get several bags full of items and it didn't exceed a hundred dollars. it was really nice!!

My first day on my own

Yesterday was a pretty good day, but it was a little boring for me. I'm not really familiar with the area down here so i didn't want to go out and take pictures because I didn't want to end up in the wrong parts of town and not realize i got there... So I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to do a little returning and then I came back home. after laying around for a little bit and being bored I decided to start working on the chairs that I need to refinish. so i started that process, which is going to be a long one, but they are going to look pretty cool when i'm done, i hope :) and then later in the evening I made cookies! I realized that I tend to cook when I'm bored/have time on my hands. So i'm going to use that to my favor! I'm going learn how to REALLY cook. I'm going to start making amazing meals for me and Kendall and take them to him on base whenever I can. I'm pretty sure I will usually have WAY too much food in my fridge from leftovers, but hey, It's all good! Leftovers are always good to have!

So last night I had a run-in with a quarter-sized spider... I didn't freak (GO ME!) and I killed it! I'm was quite proud of myself. and this afternoon i'm going to call pest control and set up a time so they can spray the house.

Kendall is doing pretty well. He's loving being at AIT and out of basic training (of course, but still:) ). He's really loving all the freedom they get. I've been able to sign him out on the weekends even though he's only a phase 4. So i'm totally loving that! hopefully he will get to phase up soon enough, but God will provide that in his timing. He's provided everything else we need, so I trust that He will provide in that area too :)

Have a great day!

Monday, February 15, 2010


I've had a wonder weekend. I've moved into my new place and almost all the boxes and bags are unpacked! I love this place. It really feels like home to me. and it's really nice to finally have a place that is Kendall and I's. Today I met my first neighbor. she's a lady who I would guess is in her late 80s. very nice. I helped her get her dog back in the house and she invited me in and told me all about her place and everything. it was kinda cool :)

I got to sign Kendall out again today. So we have gotten to spend the last 3 days together! It has been amazing! Today Kendall bought me some of my favorite movies, walmart sugar cookies(the best cookies ever!) and chocolate milk for Valentines day. :) And then when we got home we made banana pancakes and watched our movies :) It was a really good day!!

So i'm trying to find a job down here. I'm hoping for something that pays pretty well so that we can save up as much as possible because we have several things we want to save for.

The weather has been so crazy down here! The first day I got here it snowed like 8 inches!!! this was just from the amount of time it took us to shop at walmart. there was more later! and down here they don't have plows or anything like back home so they couldn't plow the roads. then the next day it was beautiful! like go outside without a coat beautiful. and this morning it rained and then it was bright and sunny. haha totally weird! but i love it anyways! here is a picture of the snow on my car. i didn't have a window scraper so we had to use my new toilet brush i had just bought haha

i'll have a few pictures of my new place up here soon!

have a great day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This has been a great weekend! I've gotten the spend the entire day with my hubby both yesterday and today! it's been amazing. we found out that i can come and sign him out for the day on the weekends while he is a phase 4. That's been really nice. I think i can sign him out tomorrow too because it's a holiday. :) i can't wait!!

I've spent the last two days moving into my new place. it's been a lot of work but it was really nice that my family was here to help me in the process. My mom and I went grocery shopping and filled my kitchen! that was really fun! And Friday is snowed here... 8 inches! I was like REALLY? i moved to the south and it snows!!! and down here they have no plows and such. so it was interesting. luckily walmart is about 30 seconds from my house. seriously. right around the corner. that makes things really nice!

Well i need to sleep but i just wanted to update on how things are going!!

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

moving day!

So this week has been crazy! i've been packing like crazy trying to get everything together and making all the arrangements with the realtor for the place we are renting and stuff. God has really been teaching us a lot about trusting his timing and his plan and that he will provide for us. We had lots of trouble with the company receiving the money i wired to them for our deposit. I then realized that i hadn't trusted God when they told me overnight the check and I wanted to do it all in my own time. So I took it in my own hands and wired the money to them. they then didn't receive the money til Tuesday instead of Sat. It has definitely been a huge learning experience.
God has been providing everything for us though it's been incredible! We received a free couch, recliner, table and chairs, tv and our wedding gifts cover everything we need for our kitchen. Another way he has provided for us is with money. Because Monday is a holiday, Kendall gets paid today (Friday) which is incredible because this is the day i'm moving and i thought we were going to have a very interesting weekend financially... But now we have enough money to really get everything ready in our new place. He also provided money for another situation. Today I found out that a insurance claim was filed with the wrong insurance company back in October (I had just gotten married and was changing all my insurance stuff). Because of this mishap I now owe the company a little over $150 to make up for this... well Kendall's grandma wrote us a check last week for $150, just because they thought we would need it with all the changes. How great is God!
It is now 1:30 in the morning on Friday and I need to be sleeping. so i will here soon but i wanted to blog before this crazy weekend. Tomorrow (i guess today) we make the rest of the drive from Nashville to Augusta (about 6 hours) and then meet with the realtor and get everything signed and then the place is ours! I can not wait. My dad and family are following and will be there late Friday night with all my stuff. It's been really cool how things have brought us all together and stuff. Well time for sleep, but as i have time after this move i will definitely update!

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear John and a day of baking

Today has been a pretty good day. I got to text Kendall throughout the day which has been really fun :) My friend shelby came over at 11:30 to hang out for a bit and we ended up hanging until 9:30! We baked for a little bit and then just kinda hung out. This evening Shelby and I went and saw Dear John. It was really good, but definitely made me cry a lot. It was really hard to see the scenes during the deployments and whenever they said goodbye. But overall it was a really good movie. I liked it, probably wouldn't own it, but liked it.
So yesterday I put a down payment on my home. Kendall and I are really excited. It's our first place, so it feels awesome! I still have a lot to do, lots of packing and stuff. I can not wait!

Here are my current prayer requests:
1. that my hubby will get to live with me after I move there.
2. that Kendall will get a weekend pass next weekend so he can help me move in :)
3. that I will get everything figured out in a timely manner for this move.
4. that God will continue to provide everything we need.

Have a great day!
Erica Gilliam

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kendall's first day of AIT

Today was a very eventful day for both me and Kendall. We both had a day of traveling. Kendall traveled through beautiful weather to Fort Gordon as I travelled through rain and terrible snow to Bloomington. Kendall has had his phone back for the last few days which has been incredible. It is amazing having the chance to actually talk to him! I like to be able to talk to him and share my life with him again :) So when Kendall arrived to his AIT he found out that he gets to keep his phone, his laptop and they have tvs and direct tv. They also have all weekends off :) It's going to be really nice. Kendall is really excited about all the freedom. He said everyone was freaking out! They are all very excited!
Today I wired money to the realtor so that I could guarantee the condo as ours! So me and Kendall officially have our first place :) It's so exciting! We both can't stop talking about it. I can't wait to finally be able to see Kendall more often and we are praying that even though his training isn't long enough, that because they are backed up that he will get to live with me! That would be incredible!! regardless he will get to spend the weekends with me eventually, but actually living with my hubby would be awesome!
Have a great day!
Erica Gilliam

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Amazing day!

Today was incredible! It was so great to finally see Kendall! He was the guide on bearer (which means he held the flag in front of his plattoon) it was so cool!! Plus this way I knew exactly who he was. haha. It was a really good ceremony. His friend Tom Grandjean's family couldn't make it down to the graduation so he went to lunch with us :) That was really fun. It was really fun to get to meet Kendall's friends, although I met so many people I could not tell you I can remember all them. haha. Too many faces! I had an incredible afternoon just getting to hang with my hubby. It was so nice to be able to hang out with him again. To be able to share our lives. This time everything should be a little easier because he will actually get to keep his phone with him. That will be really nice!

Kendall is the one in the front ^^ holding the flag :)
Kendall and his little brother :)
Me and Kendall!

Have a great day!
Erica Gilliam

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Life is good.

These past few weeks have been a little crazy, but things have been really good. God has really been teaching me a lot about so many things. He has really been challenging me to trust him with everything. To trust him with things like money, decisions, friendships, etc... He just continues to provide for me over and over again. It's been incredible! I just love the peace I feel when I truly trust him. I know that no matter what happens he will always be there for me. One of my favorite verses is Joshua 1:9. It says, "This is my command- Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I love that because no matter where I am he is there! I constantly go back to that verse whenever I feel discouraged. It's really cool. over christmas exodus Kendall and I went to the PX and I found a dog tag with that verse on it. of all they could've chosen it had that one. So i bought it and put it on my keychain. I love having it. A great reminder of not only God's promise, but also of my amazing hubby!
Tonight has been awesome. Kendall got his phone back so I got to talk to him a lot. It was really nice to finally get to talk about everything! Just to hear his voice was great :) He had all the guys yell "hi Kendall's wife!" and they all did a little chant for me about getting to go home! it was really cool! haha. I get to meet them all tomorrow! I seriously can not wait to get to meet all his friends. That's one thing that has been really hard. Not being able to be a part of his life there. He has all these friends I've never met and everything. But i've begun to get used to it. :)

Well time to try to fall asleep!
Have a great day!
Erica Gilliam

just a little over 12 hours!

Just a few hours until I see my hubby!!!! I can NOT wait to see him. He finally got his phone back so its so nice to actually get to talk to him. I'm loving it. it just feels great to finally catch up with him. I have missed him so much!!! YAY!

Have a great night!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Interesting Day

Only 2 more days til I get to see my hubby!! I can not wait!
So today has been one of those days that I really wish I could actually talk to my husband. I feel like in 16 hours SO much has happened!!! Basically today I realized how expensive the world we live in is. And I was reminded that does not work out in your favor if you want to be debt free. So this morning I filled out the application for the apartment I want. (Remember, this place is like amazing and I want to live there soooo bad!) Before the realtor processed the application he called me to tell me how much everything will cost me. This is when I found out he had originally told me the wrong deposit cost. While we were looking at the house he said there would be a $350 deposit. I was like Awesome! well today I found out it is actually a $775 deposit. AND because he have no credit established there will be another $775 deposit for that which will be spread out into the first 3 months rent... So basically, I have to pay $1500 just to move in and then my first 3 months of rent will be over a thousand dollars! Not at all in our budget.... AT ALL. So now I have to figure out if I want to still go with that place (which is like amazing) or go with another place that is a little cheaper but not as amazing... ha. So that has been interesting.
BUT to make everything just sink in more, I went to buy a mattress today. I figured I would put it on a payment plan so that we can establish some credit by making payments on it. (I was thinking this would be better than getting a credit card.) However, I was denied. I WAS DENIED FOR NOT HAVING ANY DEBT AT ALL! How twisted is that!
So basically today I discovered that the world today doesn't work if you have no debt at all. Well, I mean, it can... you just have to pay a whole lot of money for it! So I will be praying a lot about that one tonight.

Have a great day!
Erica Gilliam
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